Rita Jeptoo gets two-year ban for doping
What you need to know:
- The disgraced Kenyan runner on January 15 appeared before Athletics Kenya's Medical and Anti-doping Commission in Nairobi
- A statement from Athletics Kenya indicated that Jeptoo will serve the ban starting October 30, 2014 to October 29, 2016.
- She ended 2007 with a new course record at the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race, earning $50,000.
Multiple Boston and Chicago marathons champion Rita Jeptoo was on Friday handed a two-year ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after testing positive for the banned blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).
The disgraced Kenyan runner on January 15 appeared before Athletics Kenya's Medical and Anti-doping Commission in Nairobi for her drug-cheating hearing case where her manager Federico Rosa and coach Claudio Berardelli distanced themselves from the scandal.
But the unanswered question is who is behind Jeptoo’s failed dope test?
The question arose after Rosa, who had vowed to spill the beans, said he had told the anti-doping commission everything during the January 15 hearing and that someone else would make it public.
Athletics Kenya (AK) chief executive officer Isaac Mwangi said they would summon more people for hearings, but nothing has been heard since then. Is there a cover-up?
Why did AK remain quiet before releasing a statement banning eight athletes on Tuesday and then following up with another statement, on Jeptoo, on Friday?
A statement from AK indicated that Jeptoo will serve the ban starting October 30, 2014 to October 29, 2016. That effectively knocks out the 33-year-old runner from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
When asked about those who had been summoned after the first hearing and who was to make the disclosure about Rosa’s allegations, Mwangi said: “I am not in the office right now. Let me go back then I will explain everything.”
Jeptoo’s fate was sealed on December 19 after her “B” sample urine test corroborated her “A” sample that had tested positive for EPO. The sample was collected out of competition in Eldoret on September 24, 2014.
The results came out just days before the New York Marathon race that was due for November 2, where Jeptoo was to be rewarded as one of the winners of Sh90 million for the World Marathon Majors Series. Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang won the men’s category after gliding to victory in the New York City Marathon.
It’s now all in vain for Jeptoo, who had made history as the first person to win four consecutive World Marathon Majors when she successfully defended her Boston and Chicago Marathon titles.
With the confirmation of Jeptoo’s ban, her compatriot and two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat is now in line for the Sh90 million share.
Jeptoo becomes the ninth Kenyan athlete to receive a doping ban in a few days, bringing to 35 the number of Kenyan athletes who have failed doping tests since 2012.
Born on February 15, 1981, Jeptoo won her maiden marathon race, the Stockholm Marathon in 2004, before going for her second victory at the Milan Marathon. She would settle for third at the 2005 Turin Marathon and seventh at the 2005 World Championships.
Her finest moment came when she set a personal best time of 2:23:38, winning the Boston Marathon in 2006 before winning the Paris Half Marathon in 1:09:56 the same year.
She won the bronze medal at the 2006 World Road Running Championships and came fourth at the New York City Marathon the same year.
She finished fourth in the 2007 Boston Marathon but later won the Lisbon Half Marathon, before finishing seventh in the marathon at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics.
She ended 2007 with a new course record at the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race, earning $50,000.
Jeptoo won the Portugal Half Marathon in 2008, finished third at the Boston Marathon and fourth in New York Marathon before taking a prolonged maternity leave.
She returned in 2011 to finish sixth at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:28:09 before settling for fifth at the Frankfurt Marathon, in 2:25:44. She came sixth at the 2012 Boston Marathon but delivered her best performance in half a decade at the 2012 Chicago Marathon to finish second in 2:22:04.
In 2013, she won both the Boston Marathon in 2:26:25 and the Chicago Marathon in personal best 2:19:57. She defended her Boston Marathon title in 2014, winning with a time of 2:18:57 and setting a new course record. She defended her Chicago Marathon title again last year, winning with a time of 2:24:35.
That saw her collect 100 points to put her in line for the World Marathon Majors Series, but she tested positive for the banned EPO.
Jeptoo's ban comes barely two days after eight Kenyan athletes were banned by the IAAF for doping, including Flomena Chepchirchir, who finished second at both the 2012 Prague International and the 2013 Frankfurt marathons.