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AK shocked by Sumgong’s drugs test fail

Marathoner Jemima Sumgong displaying the Olympic gold medal when she returned to a heroine’s welcome on Friday night from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – Athletics Kenya has confirmed the receipt of a copy from IAAF notifying them of an anti-doping rule violation against Kenya’s Olympic women’s marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, who failed an out-of-competition dope test, reports claimed Friday.

Athletics Kenya (AK) through a statement expressed their disappointment and shock, declaring that they are awaiting full information on the matter to determine the next cause of action.

“The information contained in the notification and also carried in the press, if true, is extremely shocking and disappointing not only to Athletics Kenya but to the entire Nation of Kenya. Consequently, we are unable to make any further comments in regard to the matter at this point. We shall however issue a full and comprehensive statement once the process is complete and IAAF has confirmed that the matter may be made public,” AK stated in a statement.

“In the meantime, Athletics Kenya frowns and condemns in the strongest terms any case of anti-doping rule violation whether in Kenya or elsewhere in the world. Athletics Kenya, in conjunction with the Government of Kenya, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and other concerned bodies have worked and continue to work tirelessly to put in place measures to fight and eradicate the use and abuse of prohibited substances.”

AK called on all athletes in the country to familiarize themselves with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list of substances and to firmly desist from the use and attempted use of any prohibited substance.

“Athletes are further notified that in addition to sanctions which may be imposed by the IAAF for anyone found guilty of anti-doping violations, they will face the full force of the law within the existing framework of the laws of Kenya.”

Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong crosses the finish line to win the 2016 London Marathon

Sumgong, 32, who is also the reigning London Marathon champion, tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in a test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in her native Kenya, the BBC reported.

“We can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning Jemima Sumgong has commenced this week,” quoted the IAAF as saying in a statement.

“The athlete tested positive for EPO following a no-notice test in Kenya.”

Sumgong starred at the London Marathon last year, defying the odds to win despite suffering a bruising fall.

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Steeled by her success in London, she then became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic marathon gold in Rio.

Sumgong defeated Ethiopia’s world champion Mare Dibaba to confirm her status as the world’s number one marathon runner of the year.

Before claims of a positive drugs test emerged, Sumgong said she was looking forward to returning to London to defend her title on April 23.

In July last year, an investigation by German television channel ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged that doping is rife at the elite training centre in Iten.

Sumgong’s former training partner, the 2014 Chicago and Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, is serving a four-year ban after also testing positive for EPO.

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