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Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang suspended by AIU

Wilson Kipsang celebrates his victory at the New York Marathon (Getty Images)Wilson Kipsang celebrates his victory at the New York Marathon (Getty Images) © Copyright

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, the 2013 world marathon record holder has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for whereabouts failures and tampering, both violations of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

This was announced on Friday by the AIU, shocking athletics enthusiast considering the success of Kipsang who won the London Marathon two times in 2012 and 2014, Berlin Marathon where he broke the world record in 2013, New York Marathon in 2014 and the Tokyo Marathon in 2017.

Kipsang also won bronze for Kenya at the 2012 London Olympic Games in marathon.

He is the only athlete to have beaten superstar the current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in 2013.

It is not the first time he has fallen under the doping radar. In September 2014 he escaped punishment when he missed an out-of-competition drug test.

He risks a two-year ban for this latest infringement, if proven.

His management stressed he has not failed a drugs test and added: “No prohibited substance was found.”

Volare Sports added: “The accusation regarding alleged/attempted tampering concerns an explanation that was given in the results management process regarding a possible Whereabouts Failure and does not concern tampering with a doping test itself.”

Wilson Kipsang’s provisional ban for doping is the latest blow for Kenyan athletics

Under anti-doping regulations, athletes have to inform testing authorities of their whereabouts for a one hour window of every day.

Three failures in 12 months – not being present at the said time, or filing inaccurate or incomplete information, counts as one failure – leads to an automatic ban.

Kipsang is the sixth fastest marathon runner in history, with a personal best of two hours three minutes and 13 seconds.

The development was the latest blow for Kenyan athletics ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as he joins the growing list of Kenyan athletes who have been suspended for doping offences.

Forty-three athletes, including the women’s 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong and three-time world 1,500m winner Asbel Kiprop were handed four-year suspensions, and last year the half marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum was provisionally suspended for irregularities in his biological passport.

Kenya came close to being banned from the Rio Games in 2016.

On its website, the Athletics Integrity Unit says it “will be taking a more stringent approach to whereabouts requirements in 2020”.

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