NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Kenya’s former 800m World Under-20 champion Alfred Kipketer has been charged for breaking ‘whereabouts’ anti-doping rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old is now banned from competing until his hearing has taken place.
Kipketer won gold at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Eugene, took the world title at the 2013 World Youth Championships in Donetsk.
He also has a gold medal in the men’s 4X800m relay achieved in 2014 in Nassau, Bahamas.
This comes four days after two-time London Marathon winner and former marathon world record holder, Wilson Kipsang was charged for ‘whereabouts failures’ and ‘tampering’ by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
Kipsang – the London 2012 marathon bronze medallist – has also won the Berlin, New York and Tokyo marathons.
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.
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”.