Could ‘fixer’ Kiptum be behind Asbel Kiprop’s doping problems

By Noah Cheploen
Thursday, April 29th, 2021
Former Olympic Gold medalist Asbel Kiprop.
In summary

Former Olympic Gold medalist Asbel Kiprop summarised the arrest and arraignment of former athlete Elias Kiptum two days ago in eight words: “God, I Hope One Day Truth Will prevail.”

Kiprop, a 1500-metre specialist and one of the finest athletes the country has ever produced, watched in despair as his world and reputation came down crumbling after he was banned by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) over doping claims.

The announcement by AIU in April 30 2019 triggered a chain of events; shock, devastation and confusion particularly for Asbel who poured his heart out in his Facebook account denying claims of cheating.

Arguing that he had always abided by the rules—even championing anti-doping campaign, he accused unnamed individuals for “fixing” him for selfish reasons saying he was a victim of envious characters who were unhappy with his success.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyembai was forced to intervene after Kiprop, a police officer by profession, posted a series of messages on his Facebook account indicating that he was emotionally disturbed.

He has often argued that he was framed, pointing an accusing finger at some of his friends saying that truth is going to prevail one day; he has also vowed to return to the track once his four-year ban comes to end.

The 31-year-old, who also won three world championship golds medals, tested positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) in November 2017.

He had argued that his urine sample, which was taken out of competition, could have been tampered with by his testers, who had tipped him off about their visit and taken a payment from him.

But the AIU, an independent body managing all doping-related matters for athletics, said they were satisfied that there had been no interference and an IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal went ahead to suspended him for four years effective February 2018.

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