Ethiopian Track Field Athlete Accepts Sanction

A suspension of two years has been accepted by Ezkyas Sisay, an Ethiopian athlete in the sport of track & field, for committing an anti-doping rule violation, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and USADA.

The Ethiopian marathon runner received the doping ban of two years after a positive drug test at the 2011 New York Marathon, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced. In the race, Sisay finished ninth in the race in two hours, 11 minutes and four seconds. The USADA remarked that the marathon runner admitted using the banned substance synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) after testing positive for it. The athlete was also stripped of his victory in last January’s Carlsbad Half-Marathon in California.

The 24-year-old Sisay is a member of IAAF and admitted the use of synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) after he tested positive as a result of a sample collected by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) on behalf of the IAAF at the New York City Marathon on November 6, 2011. The two-year period of ineligibility of Sisay began on November 6, 2011, the date the doping offense occurred. The athlete has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to November 6, 2011, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

Erythropoietin use is prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletics Federation Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”).

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart appreciated the IAAF for its commitment to the global fight against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports and added that this is a perfect example of why cooperation between national anti-doping organizations and international federations is essential to protect the rights of clean athletes and preserve the integrity of competition.

Dr. Gabriel Dollé, Director of the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Department, said the United States is an important country for the International Association of Athletics Federations not only because of the quality of its national elite athletes but also because it hosts major athletic events besides attracting international athletes from all over the world and therefore it is important for our agency to be able to reply on an innovative and efficient agency like the USASA that is fully committed to eradicate doping on its territory. Dr. Dollé added that this case illustrates the joint efforts made by the USADA and the IAAF towards this common objective.

At the 33rd edition in 2010 America’s Finest City Half Marathon, Ethiopian training partners Ezkyas Sisay and Belaynesh Zemedkun (the women’s record holder with her time of 1:10:28) topped the men’s and women’s fields respectively that attracted an international field of almost 10,000 runners and raised $3.8 million for non-profit organizations. Sisay, placed 11th in Grandma’s full marathon in 2010, would no longer be invited to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth after testing positive for drugs. In 2007, Grandma’s Marathon instituted a strict drug policy after the 2006 female champion tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

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