NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon champion has come out to plead innocence after he was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.
In a statement released by his management on Wednesday, the 27 year old says he is no sinner of doping and admits that he is pained at the decision by the AIU which was notified to his management last Friday and announced to the public on Tuesday.
“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent. It’s very painful what’s happening to me now. I’ve always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I’ve realized that being charged of guilt is just easy and now proving being not guilty is hard,” the statement from Wanjiru stated.
His suspension comes after inconsistencies of his hemoglobin (HB) levels were picked up in his ABP and this often signals use or an attempted use of a banned substance, as per his charge under Article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
An athlete biological passport is an individual electronic record for professional athletes, in which profiles of biological markers of doping and results of doping tests are collated over a period of time.
“I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP finding is confusing and frustrating (to) me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realize there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating,” Wanjiru further said.
His line of pleading innocence follows in the line of former three-time 1500m world champion Asbel Kiprop who has continued advancing a theory of being victimized since he was banned for four years over the use of EPO.
Wanjiru maintains that he runs clean and has never used performance enhancing drugs, saying that his management is investigating on the issue and maintains that he will be vindicated once all the due processes are followed.
“We emphasize that no prohibited substance was found. The accusation is based on an assumption. As management we regret this case is happening. We are already trying to get to the bottom of this in order to find the truth,” Wanjiru’s management underscored.
He became the fourth Kenyan athlete to be suspended this year.
Others are Kenneth Kiprop (presence of (terbutaline), Alfred Kipketer and former World Record holder Wilson Kipsang who were both suspended because of failure to notify on their whereabouts with the latter also charged with tampering or attempting to tamper with samples.
Wanjiru’s star shot to the limelight in 2017 when he clinched the London Marathon, coming just a year after his success at the Amsterdam Marathon and Prague Half Marathon where he won both.
The 27-year old’s attempt to defend his title in 2018 ended in futility as he finished eight while his attempt at a second crown last year ended in an 11th place finish in a race won by Eliud Kipchoge.