Kenyan athlete Beatrice Toroitich banned for life for first time in history

Athletics Integrity Unit

Athletics Integrity Unit has for the first time banned a Kenyan athlete for life.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has sent out a strong statement in the fight against doping in the country.

On Friday, AIU for the first time banned a Kenyan athlete for life, a female long-distance runner, after she tested positive for banned substances for the third time.

AIU handed the 2015 Nagano and 2023 Sofia Marathon champion, Beatrice Torotich, 42, a life ban from athletics starting November 22, 2023.

Torotich has been found to have used prohibited 19-norandrosterone, 19-noretiocholanolone, Clomifene, and Canrenone from samples drawn out-of-competition on November 16, 2023, in Eldoret.

This was the third time Torotich’s samples had adverse analysis findings ranging from November 20, 2022, to November 16, 2023.

Torotich’s samples from the Kampala Marathon on November 20, 2022, in Uganda and the Sofia Marathon on October 8, 2023, in Bulgaria, all tested positive for performance-enhancing substances.

This is not the first time Torotich has been reprimanded for doping after she was banned for one year in 2019.

Torotich’s out-of-competition samples from Eldoret returned positive to the presence of Clomifene and the athlete was informed of the adverse analysis findings on February 2.

AIU wrote to her on February 13 informing her of the third adverse analysis finding and also reminding her of the second notice from the second adverse analysis finding.

AIU gave her until May 30, this year to respond to the charges, but the athlete failed to do so, forcing AIU to remind her that her silence meant that she had waived her right to a hearing, hence admission to the anti-doping violation.

Toroitich’s samples that first drew adverse analysis findings were from the Kampala Marathon on November 20, 2022. The samples revealed the presence of 19-norandrosterone and 19-Etiocholanolone.

Toroitich said that she wasn’t aware and had never used the banned substances, but failed to request for B Sampled analysis.

Uganda National Anti-Doping Organisation (Uga-Nado) and Adak forwarded the case for further analysis to AIU, who were handling her second case from Sofia Marathon.

In Sofia, Torotich tested positive for banned Clomifene, and Canrenone and AIU notified the athlete on December 11, 2023, but she never responded to the charges by December 28.

However, on January 19, this year, she wrote to AIU stating that she had been given the fertility drug, “Clomid” in 2020, besides using other traditional medicine for fertility.

Before the life ban, distance runner Sarah Chepchirchir was the first Kenyan to serve the longest ban after AIU slapped her with 12 years for various doping offences on February 13, this year.

Chepchirchir, who had finished another four-year ban in 2018, was found guilty of doping with testosterone at the Bangsaen42 Chonburi Marathon on November 5 in Thailand.

Titus Ekiru is serving 10 years from October last year after being found guilty of using Triamcinolone Acetonide and metabolite; Pethidine and metabolite, and Tampering.

Jemima Sumgong is one of four Kenyan athletes banned for eight years.