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Thursday 27, Oct 2016

  Ban On Rita Jeptoo Doubled

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld an appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federations that doubled two-year ban on Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo.

Rita became the first high-profile athlete of Kenya to fail a test after she tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2014. The ruling means Rita forfeits her 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathon titles. Jeptoo is now banned until 30 October 2018 and has also been fined 15,000 Swiss francs (£12,396) as a contribution to the legal fees and expenses of IAAF.

The CAS ruling, which came on appeal, means a possible end of Jeptoo’s running career. In its verdict, the CAS said it has doubled suspension on the athlete and declared all of her race results from April 2014 onward null and void, effectively stripping her of a number of wins, including the 2014 Boston marathon. The CAS verdict further reads that Rita has to forfeit any of the associated titles, medals, prize money and appearance money.

The IAAF had appealed that the CAS extend a two-year ban imposed by Athletics Kenya in January, 2015. The CAS said doubling the length of the original ban was justified as the panel had been comfortably satisfied that there are aggravating circumstances surrounding the case. Athletes can be banned for a period of four years over a first offence if there are aggravating circumstances. It was ruled by the CAS panel that it was obvious to it that Rita Jeptoo used EPO as part of a scheme or plan and cited evidence including her long relationship with the unidentified doctor and multiple visits to see him which she hid from her manager and coach. The ruling stated the “undisputed source” of the red blood cell-boosting hormone was an injection by her doctor. The CAS panel also criticized Rita for deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the proceedings.

The former coach of Rita is currently facing criminal charges in Kenya. He is accused of providing Jeptoo and another athlete with banned substances although CAS said that Jeptoo hid her EPO use from her coach and manager at the time. The former manager of Rita is also facing doping charges, although they relate to him allegedly providing two other athletes, not Jeptoo, with banned substances. Coach Claudio Berardelli and manager Federico Rosa, who are both Italian nationals, have denied the charges.

Jeptoo, one of most successful runners in Kenyan history, was all set to be crowned World Marathon Major Champion for 2014 but the ceremony was called off soon after news of her failed test emerged. She was due to earn a $500,000 US bonus for leading the World Marathon Majors series standings for the combined 2013 and 2014 seasons and won back-to-back Boston and Chicago titles in 2013.

The 33-year-old remarked she may have been prescribed banned substances at a local hospital after a road accident.

Jeptoo spoke last week about her plans to make a return to the competition once her initial ban of two years expires. Noah Busienei, Jeptoo’s partner, remarked on Wednesday they were expecting that the punishment might be extended after the International Association of Athletics Federations appealed what it felt was a lenient ban imposed by the Kenyan track federation. Busienei remarked they had said they would add two years and she was aware of that and further commented there is no other avenue available to appeal the decision and we shall decide the way forward.

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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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Thursday 16, Apr 2015

  Elite Kenyan Athletes Criticize Federation

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Elite Kenyan Athletes Criticize Federation

A group of elite Kenyan athletes led by former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang, the president of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya, have criticized the Athletics Federation of Kenya for suspending their agents in a doping investigation. The athletes remarked the suspensions have hurt their preparations for the world championships and other major competitions this season.

In a joint statement, the athletes questioned move of Athletics Kenya to suspend Italy’s Rosa & Associati and the Netherlands’ Volare Sports from working in Kenya for six months. The two European athlete management companies were suspended on Monday pending investigations into the recent spike in doping cases involving Kenyan athletes.

Reading from a prepared statement, Wilson Kipsang said accusing Rosa and Volare of doping has caused unrest locally and internationally. Kipsang added it is unprofessional since Athletics Kenya has not tabled facts and evidence to prove the agents are involved in doping.

In the last five years, more than 30 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests with women’s marathon star Rita Jeptoo the highest profile case so far. Jeptoo, represented by Rosa, was banned for two years in January after she tested for the blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test in Kenya last year.

Kenyan officials have been blaming the influence of foreign agents for some of the doping.

Meanwhile, Rosa & Associati and Volare Sports both said they were talking to world governing body IAAF. They added they had not received any information on their suspension or the reasons for it from Athletics Kenya. Gerard van de Veen, who heads Volare Sports, said Athletics Kenya is doing the opposite of what they should do — they ban and then investigate.

Rosa and Volare represent many elite athletes of Kenya including Kipsang, Kiprop, current marathon record-holder Dennis Kimetto, women’s 800 world champion Eunice Sum, two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai, among others. Van de Veen represents Kipsang and Kimetto, among others.

The 2011 World 200m champion Amantle Montsho from Botswana who is in the Rosa camp was banned for two years after failing a dope test after winning the 2014 Commonwealth Games 200m title. Matthew Kisorio, who was banned for a period of two years before he completed his term, last year was also in the Rosa camp.

Van de Veen denied claims made by Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat that there were more doping cases among the runners of Volare. Van de Veen, referring specifically to marathoners Kipsang and Kimetto, said many times in the year they get doping control but they never found something and went on to add that he really does not understand the reason for the allegations.

Kiplagat, who later stepped aside as the boss of Athletics Kenya, said the athletic federation will appoint a manager who will be handling affected athletes in the IAAF and Diamond Leagues before investigations are completed. Kiplagat said we shall involve the IAAF, Kenya Police, AK and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in the investigations.

The Athletics Federation of Kenya has suggested providing the athletes with temporary managers during suspension of their agents but the suggestion has been rejected by the runners. Kipsang said Athletics Kenya “is not trustworthy” in handling finances, allowances and prize money and added they cannot manage the over 250 athletes in the two camps.

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Tuesday 14, Apr 2015

  Agents Representing Marathon World Record-Holder Suspended

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Agents Representing Marathon World Record-Holder Suspended

The Athletics Federation of Kenya has suspended the agents Dennis Kimetto, the marathon world record holder, and other top stars as it investigates an increase in doping among Kenyan athletes.

On Monday, Athletics Kenya announced that it has suspended two foreign agencies for a period of six months from managing its athletes pending investigations into allegations of doping that have brought bad name to a country famed for its distance runners. Athletics Kenya President, Isaiah Kiplagat, said the athletic federation of the country has decided to suspend two agents for the time being so that investigations can be carried out and, when the results are out, we will decide whether they come back or not. Kiplagat added this suspension will be for a period of six months.

The Athletics Kenya President also remarked there have been a lot of reports relating to doping in Kenya and a lot of fingers pointed at people, agents, doctors and pharmacists. Kiplagat added we know it is an intricate issue and critical matter and we want to deal with it. Kiplagat told a news conference that everyone must be aware that we announced at the beginning of the year that any manager who has more than three athletes testing positive for drugs will have their licenses revoked.

Kiplagat said we have decided to ask Dr Rosa and Gerard Van De Veen to step aside for six months for the purposes of us to investigate their roles in this doping scandal and added these two men manage the elite athletes in the contracts, and some of them have recently been suspended for failing dope tests. It was further commented by Athletics Kenya President that the Athletics Federation of Kenya has appointed a probe team composed of AK officials, Anti-Doping Association of Kenya (ADAK) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to investigate their roles and added if they are found guilty they will be removed.

The suspension of Rosa & Associati, run by an Italian, Gabriele Rosa, and Volare Sports, run by the Dutchman Gerard van de Veen, is a huge blow to many well-known athletes who are managed by the agencies.

In the recent past, Kenyan officials have blamed foreign agents for encouraging athletes into using performance-enhancing drugs but Kenyan authorities have been accused of not taking enough actions to deal with doping cases.

Rosa and Van De Veen manage top Kenyan elite athletes including Priscah Jeptoo, the 2013 London marathon women’s winner, and current and former men’s world marathon record holders Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang. Rosa & Associati represent runners including current 1,500-meter world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner Asbel Kiprop, women’s 800 world champion Eunice Sum, and former world champion Janet Jepkosgei. Rosa managed Rita Jeptoo, who is currently serving a two-year ban for testing positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO. Volare Sports, which is headed by Dutch agent Gerard van der Veen, represents Dennis Kimetto, two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai, and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang, among others.

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Sunday 01, Mar 2015

  AWMM To Feature Unprecedented Anti-Doping Protocols

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Organizers of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) have released details of a new race series format that will be launched at the Tokyo Marathon.

The event marked the official start of the Abbott’s title sponsorship of the series. It will see the introduction of a new one-year cycle of qualifying races featuring what is described by AWMM as unprecedented anti-doping protocols.

The series that included the Boston, Tokyo, BMW Berlin, Virgin Money London, TCS New York City, and Bank of America Chicago Marathons already has a policy under which no athlete is eligible to win the AWMM Championship title if he or she is found guilty of any anti-doping rules that are enforced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), any of the individual AWMM races, or national federations.

Starting from 2015, the anti-doping efforts have been stepped up with the AWMM creating a pool of championship-eligible runners who will be undergoing additional out-of-competition drug testing. The AWMM will also be adjusting prize money payments that will be adjusted for taking advantage of long-term biological mapping of athletes. From now on, the $500,000 awarded each to the male and the female champion will not be a one-time lump sum affair but it will be paid out over the course of five years at $100,000 each year.

World Marathon Majors suffered its most dramatic doping setback when Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), a blood-boosting steroid. Jeptoo was banned for two years by Athletics Kenya, effective from 30 October 2014 to 29th October 2016, after her A and B samples revealed the presence of EPO.

In 2014, Jeptoo set the course record in Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 18.57 minutes. Jeptoo, a winner of the Chicago Marathon twice and Boston Marathon thrice, is now ruled out of the World Championship in Beijing this summer but also the Rio Olympics in 2016. Any financial reward earned by Rita Jeptoo, as a result of her winning the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors, has already been rescinded. The Kenyan athlete faces possible forfeiture of her 2014 titles and could be asked to repay the $15,000 she received for conquering the Boston Marathon and the $25,000 bonus for setting the course record.

Erythropoietin is a protein hormone used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance performance. The hormone, which is produced by the kidney, stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body when it gets released into the blood stream. It is worthwhile to note here that Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have been used in endurance sports like boxing, cycling, horseracing, rowing, race walking, cross country skiing, distance running, Mixed Martial Arts, cross country skiing, and triathlon. Medically used to treat anemia, EPO can increase oxygen carrying capacity of the body. In addition to these distinctive advantages, Erythropoietin is also beneficial to speed up the process of wound healing. It also plays a critical role in response of the brain to neuronal injury and can improve absorption of iron by suppressing hepcidin (a hormone). Erythropoietin is also useful in stimulating angiogenesis and stimulating proliferation of smooth muscle fibers.

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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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Thursday 11, Dec 2014

  WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

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WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it does not support the imposition of criminal sanctions on cheating athletes despite it in the favor of a tougher code that will come into effect on January 1 next year.

The new WADA Code will punish first-time offenders with four-year bans instead of two years of suspension. It also puts a greater emphasis on investigation and gathering intelligence.

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President and former chairman of the British Olympic Association, made this comment after a three-year sentence for doping offenders was proposed by a draft German law. Reedie said dopers should only be sanctioned within the rules of their sport and added a custodial sentence is not appropriate. He remarked an athlete should be sanctioned under the sports rules which have been developed over many years and he should not be sanctioned under Criminal Law.

Reedie, speaking at a members’ meeting, also insisted that the World Anti-Doping Agency is working closely with the Brazilian anti-doping organization to make sure that the quality of tests at Rio 2016 are adequate. Reedie said it is important that we have the laboratory in Rio re-accredited so it doesn’t make any mistakes. The WADA President added it made some mistakes, which is why it lost its accreditation and added but nothing would be worse for athletes than to take part in the competition when they knew there was any question of wrong results from a laboratory that we used to test the samples. Last year, the credentials of the drug-testing laboratory in Rio de Janeiro were revoked by WADA as it failed to comply with the agency’s standards. The revocation forced FIFA, the world governing body of football, to turn to a Switzerland lab for the analysis of the 2014 World Cup samples.

It was also announced by WADA that pledges for the creation of an anti-doping research fund reached more than US$10 million (S$13 million) that match the financial investment made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). WADA announced pledges from the Ivory Coast, Japan, Qatar, Russia, France, Sweden and Peru, joining Turkey, South Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States. These countries were named by WADA as donors for its research fund that will be beneficial for exploring new techniques for the detection of prohibited substances and methods. Therefore, the joint project will have a budget of about US$20 million.

Reedie also commented on the growing incidents of doping in Kenya. The African country has experienced a dramatic increase in doping cases. This year, Rita Jeptoo was among the high-profile cheats. The Kenyan marathon runner tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which is used by strength athletes and cyclists to improve the production of red blood cells in the body. Reedie said WADA officials recently met their Kenyan counterparts to help them establish the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya with Chinese and Norwegian agencies providing technical training and guidance. Reedie also commented that Kenya produces many of the very best middle- and long-distance runners in the world and it is very much in Kenya’s interest to have this treated properly.

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Tuesday 25, Nov 2014

  Lack Of Blood Test Labs In Kenya Blamed For Surge in Violations

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Lack Of Blood Test Labs In Kenya Blamed For Surge in Violations

Former one-hour-run world-record holder athlete Jos Hermens has blamed absence of blood testing laboratories in Kenya for several doping violations in the recent past.

In 2012, Mathew Kisorio, who has the world’s third fastest timing of 58.46 minutes in half marathon was banned for two years. Two-time Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo recently tested positive for doping while Jemima Sumgong, who finished second to Rita in Chicago this year, received a doping ban of two years that was later reversed. These doping incidents have casted doubts about the reputation of Kenya as a powerhouse in long distance running.

Hermens, whose Global Sports Communication manages many elite African athletes, said the the news of Jeptoo returning positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) was shocking. EPO is naturally-producing hormone by the kidneys that can be artificially produced to improve endurance by injecting it into the blood. Hermens said it is a very common thing due to which athletes are getting caught nowadays. The former one-hour-run world-record holder added the doping control in Kenya is very difficult because there is no blood testing laboratory and EPO is a blood booster. For testing, the blood has to go to Europe and it is difficult to transport the blood and added blood testing is the most preferred way of catching athletes using EPO and growth hormones.

The 64-year-old, who has the distinction of covering 20,944 meters for the world record in 1976, said EPO was a very complicated substance to detect. He remarked fresh red blood cells live for 30 days only and so you not only need to consistently monitor the EPO level, but also track an athlete for more than two years to have an idea of the numbers that remain in the blood. Hermens, who competed for the Netherlands in the 10,000 meter race in the 1976 Olympics, also remarked remote location of Kenya’s training areas also made it difficult to get blood samples to any accredited labs within the mandated 36 hours. The athlete blamed sports physicians and pharmacists for the doping problems in Kenya. Hermens said long distance running is a big business in Kenya and there is a lot of competition to get into the teams and so some doctors tell them they can run faster if they follow their advice. He added several athletes are not educated enough and they fall into the trap and the doctors are to be blamed because what they are doing is crime.

Hermens also remarked the low standard of living among Kenyans made them physically tough as they are used to living with less oxygen because they live in high altitude areas.  Hermens went on to add that Kenyans have so much talent that there is no need for doping. Jos Hermens added we educate them for learning nuances of running and we manage their daily affairs. The athlete said it is very important regarding doping that every time they go to the hospital, they need to let us know because sometimes they get the wrong medicine and they can have a problem.

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Sunday 23, Nov 2014

  Kenyan Politician Seeks To Criminalize Doping

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Kenyan Politician Seeks To Criminalize Doping

Kenyan marathon-star-turned-politician Wesley Korir has remarked drastic action should be taken against doping cheats. Korir announced plans to criminalize doping and said heavy actions are the only way to put a stop to a worsening sporting crisis in his east African nation.

Korir, a Boston marathon champion in 2012, remarked his own investigations had reveled evidence of a big supply of drugs being provided by a cartel of people among the east African nation’s distance runners. Korir’s announcement comes in the wake of the shock revelation last month that Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, the world’s current top female marathon runner, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO) during an out-of-competition anti-doping control. Korir, now an elected MP, said unless we put in place a law to criminalize doping, we will have lost and added the legislation may include lifetime bans and fines for athletes and jail for doctors who administer performance enhancing drugs.

Wesley Korir also remarked this is the right time to introduce this bill which he hopes will be passed by the national assembly. He also said the negative publicity the scandal has caused on Kenya is huge and we are not prepared to tarnish the integrity of Kenya. Korir also commented that the supply of banned substances in Kenya was widespread and added there will be a tendency of some of athletes being tempted to dope with them being pushed to run faster times. He also accused sport bosses of Kenya, including Athletics Kenya, of having done absolutely nothing despite a string of positive tests among athletes from Kenya in recent years. Korir remarked they continue to live in denial and they do not want to accept the reality that the issue is so serious. He also said the system is so corrupt and added the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should open a testing laboratory in Kenya to safeguard the process.

The 2012 Boston marathon champion said currently there is no law that forces any athlete to give up information on who is providing them with drugs. He added they need to be made to give the names of the suppliers and we need to have a law that if you give an athlete drugs, you should be put in jail. He also remarked criminalization will create a lot of fear among the athletes and they will think twice about cheating in the first place and it will also force doping offenders to cooperate with doping investigations.

Korir also said he will be introducing a bill in Parliament to criminalize doping in Kenya to athletes, agents, or doctors that assist athletes dope. Korir added he will soon be meeting with officials from the Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK), a new athletes’ group in Kenya chaired by Wilson Kipsang, reigning London Marathon champion.

Wesley Korir won the 2012 Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours 12 minutes 40 seconds. The long distance runner who specializes in road running competitions had previously won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2010.

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