Elijah Manang'oi apologises, vows to fight suspension

Kenya’s Elijah Motonei Manangoi wins the athletics men's 1500m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. PHOTO | SAEED KHAN | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Manang'oi, who denied engaging in any doping activities, described the suspension by the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) for having missed three tests as “devastating” as he prepares to clear his name
  • Manang'oi, the 2015 World 1,500m and 2018 Continental Cup champion, said he didn’t miss the tests intentionally adding that he will be ready to prove it in his defence
  • Three other Kenyan distance runners were handed heavy bans and suspension alongside Manang'oi, the 2018 Commonwealth 1,500m champion



Middle-distance athlete Elijah Manang’oi has apologised to Kenyans, his coach Ben Ouma and fellow athletes after he was provisionally suspended on Thursday for his whereabouts failures.

Manang'oi, who denied engaging in any doping activities, described the suspension by the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) for having missed three tests as “devastating” as he prepares to clear his name.

“What I can say is each of the missed tests happened during 2019, my case has nothing to do with prohibited substances and I have always competed as a clean athlete,” said Manang'oi.

“I know I have let people down in particular my coach and fellow athletes. I also know that no matter what I say here I will be criticized,” said Manang’oi explaining that last year was the worst period of his career where an injury impacted everything on and off the track.

Manang'oi, the 2015 World 1,500m and 2018 Continental Cup champion, said he didn’t miss the tests intentionally adding that he will be ready to prove it in his defence.

“The facts of the cases are clear in my mind and I am sure there will be a time when it is appropriate to go into more detail. But right now I am focused on compiling a formal response to the AIU so I won’t be commenting further,” said Manang'oi on his Facebook page.

Manang'oi failed to defend his world 1,500m title in Doha last year owing to a stress fracture on his right leg. That gave his teammate at Rongai Athletics club, Timothy Cheruiyot an opportunity to reign.

Manang'oi was preparing for a comeback in Monaco on August 14 this year.                                                    

Manang'oi, who had not competed since winning the national 1,500m title on August 22 at the Nyayo National Stadium after the stress fracture recurred in training, made a return at the Impossible Games during the Maurie Plant Memorial Race on June 11.

Three other Kenyan distance runners were handed heavy bans and suspension alongside Manang'oi, the 2018 Commonwealth 1,500m champion.

World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal banned Mercy Kibarus for eight years as compatriot Kenneth Kipkemoi got two years ban.

AIU has suspended Patrick Siele for evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, a violation of the Anti-Doping Rules.

Kibarus’ ban takes effect from December 5, 2019, for the presence of a prohibited substance in her samples taken in out-of-competition test on September 13, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa and in-competition on September 15, 2019, during the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kibarus had her case backdated to 2015 when she was flagged down for a doping offence but pardoned on appeal but with a stern warning that she would face stiffer penalty if she doped again.

Kibarus becomes the second Kenyan to be handed eight years ban after 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong.

Kipkemoi, the 2012 Africa 10,000m champion, who also claimed a silver medal in half marathon during the 2011 Maputo African Games, got two years with effect from February 25 this year for the presence of a prohibited substance, Terbutaline.

The development comes in the wake of long distance runner Wilson Kipsang’s four-year ban for his whereabouts failures and providing false evidence.