NAIROBI, Kenya, April 29 – Asbel Kiprop is set to be awarded the 1500 metres Olympic gold medal after the Beijing games winner Rashid failed a doping test.
The Bahrain athlete tested positive for Cera-an advanced version of endurance-enhancing hormone EPO during a re-testing done on all samples collected during the 2008 Olympic games.
The positive test will see Ramzi stripped off the gold, with 20 year old Kiprop who won silver upgrading to gold.
Ramzi was one of seven medalists who tested positive in the re-testing which involved six athletes carried and was carried out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman confirmed that Kiprop will be awarded the gold.
“Asbel will be given the gold because he won silver at the games which mean Kenya will now have six gold medals as we had won five in Beijing. It is good news for Asbel and Kenya and also shows that we are winning the war against drugs,” said Keino.
Kiprop was delighted with the news, “I am happy because I have gotten what is mine. It was unfair to compete with a person who was using drugs bit atleast there is some sense of justice.”
“I am disappointed that he denied Kenya a chance to have the chance to have its national anthem played at the stadium. It could have been more special if I had won it in the stadium,” he added.
Kiprop said that he will start his season on May 8 at the Doha Grand prix, “I will be running in the 800 metres race as I am chasing a 1:43 and hopefully I will attain that time.”
He added that if all goes according to form, he will try to qualify for both 800 and 1500 metres race at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Berlin.
“ I would like to double if I can make the qualifiers and attain qualifying times so its going to be a challenging year though I believe with hard work, it will happen.”
Kenya was the highest placed African nation at the Beijing games with five gold, five silvers and four bronze.
Pamela Jelimo, Nancy Jebet Lagat, Brimin Kipruto, Samuel Wanjiru and Wilfred Bungei scooped gold medals.
Eunice Jepkorir, Catherine Ndereba, Asbel Kiprop, Janeth Jepkosgei and Eliud Kipchoge clinched silver while Micah Kogo, Alfred Kirwa, Richard Mateelong and Edwin Soi won bronze.