Kenyan marathoner gets two-year ban for doping

Athletes battle it out during the Eldoret City Marathon men’s category on April 22, 2018. Elkana Kibet Yego won the race clocking 2:12:44, Philip Cheruiyot Kangogo came second in 2:12:49 while Brian Kipsang finished third clocking 2:12:50.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The two years ban takes effect from July 31, 2019.
  • Kangogo, the 2014 Kass International Marathon winner, still has one year to serve for presence of the banned higenamine in his urine.

Kenya’s long distance runner Philip Kangogo was on Thursday handed a two-year ban by Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) after failing a doping test last year.

The 36-year-old Kangogo has been reprimanded for the presence and use of a prohibited substance during the PZU Cracovia Marathon on April 28 last year in Poland where he finished third in two hours, 13 minutes and 46 seconds.

The two years ban takes effect from July 31, 2019 meaning that Kangogo, the 2014 Kass International Marathon winner, still has one year to serve for presence of the banned higenamine in his urine.

Kangogo was subjected to in-competition testing during the PZU Cracovia Marathon where the athlete provided a urine sample. The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accredited laboratory in Warsaw, Poland, reported an adverse analytical finding on June 3, last year.

They found the presence of higenamine, a prohibited substance under Wada 2019 prohibited list yet the athlete didn’t have a Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) permitting the use of substance.

Three days later, AIU notified Kangogo who was requested to provide an explanation  by June 13 last year and also accorded the opportunity to request analysis of the B Sample.

Kangogo, who insisted that he didn’t dope intentionally, wrote to the AIU on June 8 stating that he accepted the presence of higenamine in the sample but failed to request analysis of the B Sample.

Kangogo suspected that the origin of the higenamine in the sample might have been a contaminated supplement as he provided additional details regarding the supplements that he had used prior to the PZU Cracovia Marathon.

Provided details

The Athlete also provided the AIU with details regarding herbs that he had consumed on his mother’s advice prior to the PZU Cracovia Marathon.

On the request of the AIU, he provided photos of the herbs and later samples of the herbs to Athletics Kenya, who had agreed to assist the athlete to identify the herbs in order to determine whether or not they could be responsible for the presence of higenamine in the athlete’s sample.

Athletics Kenya investigations concluded without identifying the herbs in question in the process that took place between July last year and June this year.

That is when AIU issued the notice of charge with a choice to either admit the violation and accept a two-year period of ineligibility, or to request a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal Tribunal, by no later than June 29, 2020.

Kangogo wrote to the AIU but failed to address the substantive matters raised in the charge or how he wished for the case to proceed.

The athlete would on July 31 admit committing the violation and accepted the proposed consequences set out in the charge and, on August 7, 2020, returned a signed admission of Anti-Doping Rule Violations and Acceptance of Consequences Form from his lawyer.

Kangogo is in the list of several Kenyan athletes who have been banned for a period ranging from two years to eight years for violating the whereabouts rule or taking prohibited substances this year.

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang was handed a four-year ban in April this year for whereabouts failures and tampering and three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop also suffered the same fate.

Mercy Kibarus got an eight years ban from September 2019 for presence of a prohibited substance as long distance runners Kenneth Kipkemoi and Alex Oliotiptip got two years each for substance abuse and whereabouts failure respectively.

Others who have been handed four years ban each are Mikel Kiprotich Mutai, Vincent Kipsegechi Yator and Peter Kwemoi after taking prohibited substances.

There are cases still pending this year including that of 2017 World 1,500m champion Elijah Manang’oi,  former London Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru, 2014 World Under-20 800m champion Alfred Kipketer, James Kibet and Patrick Siele.