NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30- Athletics Kenya (AK) has banned disgraced female marathon star for two years for using banned blood boosting Erythropoietin (EPO) on Friday.
Jeptoo, the three-time Boston and two-time Chicago marathon titleholder pending the review of her performances had both A and B samples from an out of competition test conducted in September last year test positive for the proscribed substance.
“Athletics Kenya would like to confirm that it has sanctioned Rita Jeptoo for 2 years effective from 30th October 2014 to 29th October 2016 following the results of sample A and B sample having used the prohibited substance EPO,” the federation declared in a brief statement.
“That is the end of this case and we are now looking forward to working with the government’s Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in partnering to fight doping in our sport,” AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat said.
With the ban, Jeptoo stands to be stripped of her titles and earnings in the period under review as well as losing out on 48.8m (USD500, 000) World Marathon Majors series jackpot she won after running to back-to-back victories at the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2013 and 14.
The most sensational drug cheating case in Kenyan history saw Jeptoo, estranged partner Noah Busiendich, Italian manager, Federico Rosa and Italian coach, Claudio Berardelli appearing before AK Medical and Anti-Doping Commission January 15.
During the hearings where Jeptoo testified for over two hours her now ex-manager Rosa maintained his Rosa Associati firm or those involved in its dealings had nothing to do with the athlete’s decision to use blood booster EPO to gain unfair edge.
“I wanted to clear my company here. Let the committee meet and make a statement but my relationship with Jeptoo ended the moment she tested positive. I have nothing to do with people who dope,” Rosa told the press after concluding his presentation then.
His compatriot and coach, Berardelli who has handled among other, world champions Asbel Kiprop and Eunice Sum, former Olympics gold medallista, Nancy Jebet Langat and the late Samuel Wanjiru besides former world champion, Janeth Jepkosgei among other notable stars spoke of anguish the Jeptoo drug bust had taken on him.
“Our runners should not take the short route to success and I hope this will serve a lesson to those who want to follow in her path to stop using drugs such as EPO which are deliberate since they are injected,” Wilfred Bungei, the retired Being 2008 Olympics champion added on the latest development.
“It wasn’t good news especially to athletes who have been running at the top with good times.
It’s something Government should go deep and intervene to ensure it doesn’t happen again because it doesn’t portray a good image to our country,” Wilson Kipsang, the former world marathon record holder said after winning the New York title and with it the World Marathon Majors series jackpot worth 48.8m (USD500, 000) last November.
-ADAK partners with Norway, China Agencies-
Meanwhile, newly formed Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) entered into a one-year partnership with the Norway and China Anti-Doping Agencies as well as the Regional Anti-Doping Agency to help Kenya set a robust Agency.
Speaking on Friday when signing the memorandum of understanding that also incorporated, National Olympics Committee of Kenya, Cabinet Sectary for Sports, Culture and Arts Dr. Hassan Wario said the partnership will help curb the doping menace in the country.
“We shall cooperate in the field of Anti-Doping, share ideas; expertise resources to build a strong and robust Anti-Doping movement in Kenya, our efforts shall be geared towards the protection of clean athletes.
“We shall all work together to build a strong and effective agency which will spearhead testing, sensitization, training and investigation in the field of Anti-Doping in Kenya,” Wario declared.
Norway Anti-Doping Agency CEO, Anders Solheim said they will bring in their experience to help ADAK run the body professionally.
“It’s important to give ADAK the competence and mandate to do their work and have independent hearing and appeal panel so that we have a resort management process in place.
“We will use our experience to train doping officers and testing Kenyan athletes because Anti -Doping is about partnerships we need to get everyone on board including federations,” Solheim underscored after concluding a three-day Anti-Doping workshop in Nairobi.
ADAK that will be chaired by former Sports principle Secretary James Waweru was gazetted January 23 and will also include Dr. Moni Wekesa, Alex Tunoi, Dr. Mukhtar and former marathon world champion Douglas Wakiihuri.