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Wednesday 26, Aug 2015

  Liliya Shobukhova’s Sanction Reduced

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Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova, the Russian long-distance runner who competed in marathon races, has finally received a reprieve from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Shobukhova, who was stripped of three Chicago and one London Marathon titles, had her ban reduced by seven months for providing “substantial assistance” to WADA. The 37-year-old Russian athlete was banned for a period of three years and two months after abnormalities were found in her athlete biological passport. She was initially banned for a period of two years but her ban was extended to run from January 24, 2013 to March 23, 2016 after the world governing body of athletics appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Her ban is now reduced after the World Anti-Doping Agency agreed to the cut in the sanction and the athlete is now eligible to compete again.

A WADA statement said it has agreed to a seven-month reduction in the athlete’s sanction that brings the total length of the athlete’s ineligibility period to two years and seven months, which ended on 23 August 2015. The anti-doping agency remarked reduction in the ban was due to substantial assistance that Shobukhova provided in line with the provisions of the world anti-doping code. The statement also reads that Liliya Shobukhova approached WADA in May 2014 to offer substantial assistance within the meaning of the code and it was also disclosed that the athlete accepted from the outset that she had committed an anti-doping rule violation.

It was also remarked the information and documentation provided by Shobukhova has been of substantial value in uncovering and investigating anti-doping rule violations committed by other individuals, including athlete support personnel and WADA considered the information provided by Shobukhova to be of significant value to clean sport. Therefore, WADA decided to exercise its authority and use the Substantial Assistance provisions in the 2015 Code [Article 10.6.1.2; also reflected in Rule 40.7(a) (ii) of Chapter 3 of the IAAF Competition Rules].

In 2001, Liliya Shobukhova started her career in middle-distance running and grabbed headlines when she reached the final at both the European Indoor Championships and European Athletics Championships in 2002. Her first big success moment came at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Athletics Championships where she won silver medals. In 2007, she won the Prague Half Marathon and reached final of 5000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shobukhova is the present European record holder in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters and a former world indoor record in the 3000 meters.

Her personal best of 2:18:20, set to win the Chicago Marathon in 2011, will be struck and the Russian athlete would no longer be considered the second fastest woman in history behind world record holder Paula Radcliffe. After a ban was imposed by the Russian federation, the World Marathon Majors announced it will amend the standings for WMM Series IV and WMM Series V and confirm a woman’s series winner. This meant that Irina Mikitenko of Germany will replace Liliya Shobukhova as the 2009-2010 series champion and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya will get the 2010-2011 title.

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Sunday 16, Aug 2015

  Ashenden Hits Back At IAAF Presidential Candidate

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Michael Ashenden, who was one of two anti-doping experts to be enlisted by the Sunday Times, has hit back at IAAF Presidential candidate Lord Sebastian Coe. Ashenden accused the world governing body of athletics in an open letter to Coe accusing the International Association of Athletics Federations of lacking the drive to clean up the sport.

Ashenden recently analysed leaked data belonging to the IAAF that included more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes. The two scientists concluded that hundreds of athletes had recorded suspicious test results that were not followed up. The under-fire IAAF recently criticized Ashenden and fellow expert Robin Parisotto and Coe was particularly outspoken. The IAAF Vice-President, who is fighting against Sergey Bubka for the Presidential post, called the scientists “so-called scientists” and branded the allegations of widespread doping as a “declaration of war” on athletics.

In the open letter, Ashenden asked Coe whether the IAAF was pursuing its anti-doping mandate with the same single-minded, all-consuming dedication that athletes adopt in their pursuit of winning. Ashenden commented he does not believe that the IAAF has done a fair and commendable job after looking at the leaked database.

In December, Coe admitted that doping in sports as serious as those sparked by the Ben Johnson and BALCO doping scandals. The former London 2012 chairman had remarked then that allegations of systematic doping among Russian athletes had added to ghastly days for athletics. At this time, Coe had also remarked that he had no knowledge about a list of 150 athletes with suspicious blood test results referred to by ARD, the German broadcaster. The list, produced between 2006 and 2008 by an IAAF official, included the names of three British athletes including one household name considered to have suspicious blood values.

The Sunday Times added the winners of 34 major marathons around the world – one in four – during the period of 12 years should have faced investigation or censure due to their test results, with those athletes collecting more than £3million in prize money. The Sunday Times also reported that London Marathon was the worst affected with seven wins, six second places and seven third places out of 24 men’s and women’s races allegedly involving suspicious blood results.

Reacting to doping allegations, London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel criticized the IAAF and remarked race organizers are very much concerned by claims made by ARD and the Sunday Times that seven winners in a 12-year period recorded suspicious blood scores. Bitel added we continue to be at the forefront of anti-doping measures for marathon runners as we are determined to make marathon running a safe haven from doping but we cannot do it all on our own and rely heavily on the IAAF.

Earlier this week, Liliya Shobukhova was stripped of her three Chicago Marathon titles and 2010 London Marathon win, with all her results from 2009 onwards annulled. In 2014, Shobukhova was banned because of irregularities in her biological passport. The ban on Shobukhova was extended after the IAAF made a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It was argued by the IAAF that her ban should be extended; the ban now lasts until March 23, 2016.

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Friday 24, Apr 2015

  IAAF Wants Doping Ban On Rita Jeptoo To Be Doubled

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IAAF Wants Doping Ban On Rita Jeptoo To Be Doubled

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has disclosed on its website (www.tas-cas.org) that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics, wants to double the doping ban of two years handed out to Boston and Chicago marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.

In September, the Kenyan athlete failed an out-of-competition test in September for the blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO). In the biggest drugs scandal to hit the East African country in recent years, the Kenyan marathon runner received a two-year ban from sports for the anti-doping rule violation. Her failed test resulted in the postponement of the awards ceremony for the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series. Rita Jeptoo was to collect the women’s series prize, including $500,000, after securing her World Marathon Majors series victory with a win in Chicago that took place on October 12, after the out-of-competition test.

Jeptoo denied doping and made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the suspension to be lifted. Jeptoo, unless she can successfully appeal, will lose her 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title and its $100,000 in prize money and the prize of $500,000 as winner of the 2013-14 Abbott World Marathon Majors Series. Rita Jeptoo would also become ineligible from making another appearance in the WMM series if she is found guilty of the doping offense. World Marathon Majors general counsel Nick Bitel remarked that under the athletes’ code of conduct for the series, anyone found guilty of a doping offense that carries more than a ban of three months is disqualified from ever taking part in the WMM series.

On its website, CAS disclosed that the IAAF had requested that the period of ineligibility for Rita Jeptoo should be increased to four years, due to aggravating circumstances which it argues warrant an extended period of ineligibility. It was disclosed that Jeptoo has asked the CAS to set the suspension aside and lift the two-year suspension so she can resume training and participate in IAAF competitions during the CAS proceedings. The CAS said both appeals were currently in progress and being conducted in accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration.

Rita Jeptoo was banned by Athletics Kenya from all competition until October 29, 2016 which includes the 2016 Olympics and 2015 World Championships following an adverse analytical finding for recombinant EPO. The ban on Rita Jeptoo, winner of the last two Boston and Chicago marathons, was reportedly backdated to October 30, 2014. The suspension that was imposed by anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya was the minimum mandatory punishment under international anti-doping regulations in place when Rita Jeptoo was caught in an out-of competition test last year.

Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, who is all set to get the World Marathon Majors winner-takes-all $500,000, said if you take something like EPO, which is injected as a professional athlete, it is obvious you know what you are putting in your body. Kiplagat, the two-time women’s marathon world champion, also remarked her positive test has made it very difficult for us and also remarked that we keep on being asked about doping every time we go to compete out there.

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Tuesday 03, Feb 2015

  Rita Jeptoo Banned For Two Years

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Athletics Kenya has announced that Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, has banned for two years after she failed a drugs test.

The 33-year-old marathon runner from Kenya, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time winner of the Chicago Marathon, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO). Both her A and B samples tested positive. Erythropoietin is a protein hormone that is produced by the kidney and has the ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells in the body when released into the blood stream. EPO is commonly used by long-distance runners and cyclists to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the body.

Jeptoo, in her defense, said the banned substances may have originated from a drug that she prescribed to take by a local hospital after a minor road accident. The samples of Jeptoo came from an out-of-competition event in Kenya on September 25, a few weeks before the Chicago race.

Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon three times. The Marathon Queen set Boston’s course record in 2014 with a time of 2 hours, 18.57 minutes and she also won the Boston Marathon in 2006 and 2013. Jeptoo coupled her Boston Marathon 2013 and 2014 wins with Chicago Marathon titles in each of those falls.

Jeptoo has been suspended from all forms of competition up until October 29, 2016 that rule her out of the world championships in Beijing this summer and the Rio Olympics the following year. Financial rewards associated with winning the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors have already been rescinded.

According to a statement from Athletics Kenya (AK), Jeptoo will miss out on the Rio Olympics. It was remarked that Athletics Kenya would like to confirm that it has suctioned Jeptoo for two years effective from October 30, 2014 to October 29, 2016 follow the results of sample A and B sample having used the prohibited substance EPO. AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat said, that is the end of this case and we are now looking forward to working with the government’s Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in partnering to fight doping in our sport.

The coach and agent of Rita Jeptoo will not be sanctioned. With the doping ban, the marathon champion will be be stripped of her titles and earnings in the period under review and will also lose out on the 500,000 U.S. dollars World Marathon Majors series jackpot she won after conquering back-to-back victories at the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2013 and 2014.

Wilfred Bungei, the retired Beijing 2008 Olympics champion, said our runners should not take the short route to success and he hopes this will serve a lesson to those who want to follow in her path to stop using drugs such as EPO which are deliberate since they are injected. Wilson Kipsang, the former world marathon record holder, said it wasn’t good news especially to athletes who have been running at the top with good times and added it is  something government should go deep and intervene to ensure it doesn’t happen again because it doesn’t portray a good image to our country.

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Wednesday 14, Jan 2015

  Doping Hearing Of Rita Jeptoo On January 15

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Doping Hearing Of Rita Jeptoo On January 15

The Athletics Federation of Kenya will hold a hearing in the doping case of Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo on January 15.

Jeptoo has been ordered by Athletics Kenya to attend the hearing along with two coaches and her agent (coaches Claudio Berardelli and Noah Busienei, and Jeptoo’s agent Federico Rosa) as the East African country investigates its high profile doping case. Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat remarked we are hoping this hearing will shed light on who is behind the doping scam and Rita Jeptoo will hopefully tell us what happened.

Rosa and Berardelli vehemently denied any kind of association with the positive drug test. They remarked they were fully cooperating with anti-doping officials. The reputation of Rosa has been surrounded by many controversies in the last few years. In 2012, Mathew Kisorio tested positive for anabolic steroids though he remarked Rosa and Berardelli had nothing to do with the positive test. In the same year, Jemima Sumgong, Jeptoo’s training partner, failed a drug test following the Boston Marathon for testing positive to Prednisolone. Jemima received a doping ban of two years from Athletics Kenya but the decision was later reversed as the localized injection for Bursitis was allowed under IAAF Anti-Doping Rules.

In September, Jeptoo, a three-time Boston Marathon winner and two-time Chicago Marathon champion, failed an out-of-competition doping test for Erythropoietin (EPO). A few weeks later, she claimed her second straight title in Chicago. Rita was all slated to be crowned as winner of the World Marathon Majors series but the news of her failed drug test resulted in postponement of the ceremony. Last month, Jeptoo’s “B” sample also came back positive. The marathon runner faces a possible ban of two years.

In 2012, German broadcaster ARD alleged that doping was widespread in Kenya and banned drugs such as EPO can be easily obtained at Kenya’s high-altitude training bases. The German ARD documentary alleged that 150 athletes among them 25 Kenyans had suspicious blood values and were not subjected to proper targeted testing afterwards.

Officials from Athletics Kenya have blamed foreign coaches and agents for most doping cases.

Athletics Kenya recently released a list of nine athletes who were suspended or suspected to be involved in doping. The doping list has 2013 Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon, in China, Viola Chelangat Kimetto. Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo winner at the Yangzhou Jianzen International Half Marathon, held in Yangzhou, China in April, Jeptoo and Philip Kibiwot Kandie, winner of Media Marathon BAM Max Tott held in Guatemala City in January.

The urine sample of Chelangat that was collected in competition during the Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon in December 2013 revealed the presence of prohibited substance Norandosterone. Athletics Kenya had recently summoned Maunga James Nyakabira, Ndirangu Alice, Elizabeth Jebet Chelagat, Isaac Kimaiyo Kemboi and Bernard Mwendia Muthoni to appear before the Athletics Kenya Medical and Anti-doping Commission. A statement from Athletics Kenya said each athlete has been requested to get in touch with the head office in reference to particular issues revolving doping cases.

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Monday 03, Nov 2014

  Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test

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Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons for the past two years, has tested positive for a banned substance, according to the World Marathon Majors that represents the world’s six most prominent marathons.

The 33-year-old Jeptoo won back-to-back titles at the Boston Marathon, where she set the course record on April 21 in 2:18:57. She won the Chicago Marathon on October 12 in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds, which was her fourth straight major marathon victory. The Kenyan runner presently leads the World Marathon Majors series. Jeptoo is by far the most prominent runner from Kenya to have failed a doping test. She won Boston marathon three times and Chicago marathon twice. Jeptoo failed a doping test a few weeks before she won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon, her agent and national federation said.

Jeptoo’s agent Federico Rosa said the athlete tested positive in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in September. The test was conducted on September 25 and the athlete’s “A” sample “indicated the presence of prohibited substances”, said Athletics Kenya. The athletic governing body of Kenya added it was disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF that Rita Jeptoo failed a test.

The medical and anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya will meet with the athlete early this week to find out whether Jeptoo wants to have her backup “B” sample tested. Jeptoo’s agent however remarked the backup test was not required. Rosa added we will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this and added Jeptoo’s management had “nothing to do with” any doping. In a statement, the IAAF remarked it was not in a position where it can confirm or deny Jeptoo’s positive doping test. The IAAF said the case remains in the confidentiality phase although that should be lifted within the next week.

Earlier Friday, the World marathon group said it had postponed the awards’ ceremony that was scheduled for Sunday due to the positive test. The group said no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules. Jeptoo was to receive a check for $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors after the New York City Marathon. George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners, said the stakes are so high and added it is far more money than almost anybody in that country could earn in a lifetime while referring to the temptation to use banned substances in a country such as Kenya.

On Jeptoo’s positive test, marathon world record holder and former world champion Paula Radcliffe said it shows that testing is being carried out and added maybe at least this time it comes before the (World Marathon Majors) payment is made.

Her coach Claudio Berardelli said the doping test failure of Jeptoo is indicative of a larger problem in Kenya. Berardelli, who has coached Jeptoo since 2012, said it is bad for the reputation of the sport in that country. Berardelli added if the story of Rita can be the key to open the door of the dirty system, please let Rita pay for it.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test