10 top athletes felled by antidoping axe

Monday, February 20th, 2023 07:05 | By
Mark Otieno Odhiambo. PHOTO/Courtesy

Despite Kenya being the home of champions in athletics, use of prohibited substances has been rampant among athletes. As a result, a big number have been sanctioned by World Athletics and are serving their bans from competitions. In the worst case scenario, athletes have had their world titles, medals and prize money recalled.

1. Mark Otieno Odhiambo

The Kenyan sprinter tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Methasterone. The athlete had competed in the men’s 100m during the 2017 World Athletics Championships. The athlete failed the drug test for erythropoietin at the Kigali Peace Marathon on May 20, 2022. His ban started in July of the same year. However, Odhiambo blamed a contaminated nutritional supplement for his positive test a ban which is expected to be lifted this year.

2. Rita Jeptoo

The three-time winner of the Boston Marathon, tested positive for EPO (erythropoietin), which increases the production of red blood cells and in turn helps carry more oxygen to the muscles and increases endurance. The 41-year-old marathon runner is the winner of the last two Chicago marathons.

Boston, UNITED STATES: Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women's division of 110th Boston Marathon in Boston,Massachusetts 17 April 2006. Jeptoo won in a time of 2:23:38. AFP PHOTO Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Her last victory in Chicago was in October last year, one month after the out-of-competition test. She was denied $500,000 (Sh62m) in prize money from the World Marathon Majors as a result of the ban.

3. Mark Kangongo

Kenyan runner Mark Kangogo was issued with a four-year ban from the competition by the AIU, owing to the drug-test results of a sample taken at the 2022 Sierre-Zinal. The 34-year-old athlete tested positive for norandrosterone and triamcinolone acetonide and his results were disqualified on 13 August 2022, with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money.

4.Purity Cherotich Rionoripo

Last year Rionoripo was banned for five years after testing positive for a prohibited substance – Furosemide. The 2017 Paris and 2021 Prague Marathon champion, was found to have used of prohibited substance Furosemide. In her explanation, she claimed to have been prescribed medication by a doctor at a hospital to treat an ankle injury something the investigation revealed that her prescription had been altered.

5. Paul Lonyangata

The two-time Paris Marathon champion was handed a 19-month ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit after admitting to the use of a prohibited drug. In 2017 the marathoner won his first Paris Marathon title which was historic as it was husband and wife who won both the men and women’s crowns even as his wife Purity Rionoripo who was also banned for doping at some point took the women’s crown.

6. Diana Kipyokei

The 28-year-old ban backdated to June 2022, when the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended her. Her titles were disqualified since the day she provided a urine test following her Boston win in October 2021.

Diana Kipyokei. PHOTO/Courtesy

Additionally, she was banned for six years even as she was found to have tampered with the evidence against her and provided false information and documentation.

7. Johnstone Kibet Maiyo

The 35-year-old Kenyan road runner was banned for three years which started in July 2022, after testing positive for erythropoietin. Maiyo told Athletics Kenya that he had inter alia received an iron injection and used a painkiller and a vitamin supplement. He admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violations and accepted the laid-down consequences of the same. As a result, he received a one-year reduction in the asserted period for early admission and acceptance of sanction.

8. Betty Lempus

In January this year, Kenya’s Betty Wilson Lempus was handed a five-year ban for using the prohibited substance triamcinolone acetonide and tampering with doping control. Lempus tested positive following her win at the Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris in September 2021.

Triamcinolone acetonide, a substance prohibited in competition when administered in certain ways, falls under the banned category of glucocorticoids, commonly used as therapeutic substances in sports even as a further investigation by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) showed her medical documents were forged.

9 Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai

In 2022 the 31-year-old tested positive for the presence of testosterone in her blood, a month after she won the Porto Marathon resulting in a reclamation of all results from the day of the positive testing. She won several marathons including Taiyuan Marathon in 2018 and Cremona Half Marathon, in 2015. As a result of the positive testing, she was handed a three-year ban which kickstarted in November last year.

10. Edward Kibet Kiprop 

Kibet was handed a three-year ban for the presence of a prohibited substance (Nandrolone) in his system. The ban led to his results since January 2022 being disqualified even as he admitted the violation and accepted the proposed consequences of the same which include the imposition of an immediate provisional suspension. The 23-year-old marathoner explained that he purchased one ampoule of Deca-Durabolin2 100mg and injected himself intramuscularly to manage persistent pain and injury. 

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