Two Kenyan marathoners banned for doping violations

By evelyn watta
Dec 15, 2014
  • Viola Chelangat Kimetto during the Athens marathon in 2012.(Photo:Athens classic)

As the shock waves of alleged wide spread doping in track and field continue to send shock waves, Athletics Kenya, AK, on monday announced that it had banned two marathoners Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo for failed doping tests.

The AK Medical and Anti-doping Commission chaired by Doctor Victor Bargoi which met on December 10, are also studying the tests of six others marathoners excluding Rita Jeptoo, for possible sanctions.

Kimetto, 33, third at the Athens marathon in 2012 in 2:40:28 tested positive for Norandosterone during the Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon held on 1st December 2013 and has been banned for two years effective October 12, 2014.

26-year-old Kiplimo a half marathoner with a personal best of 1:10.21 from Yangzhou, results that have since been nullified as the tests taken after the race in China last April also returned positive test for Norandosterone, a banned substance that is detected in urine.

AK however steered clear of the recent allegations published by the British Newspaper Telegraph last week that reported that up to 25 Kenyan runners, possibly some world and Olympic champions, are among 150 athletes who had suspicious blood values but were not subject to targeted testing afterwards by the International Associations of Athletics Federations, IAAF.

The report followed a documentary aired on German Television ARD that was in possession of the suspicious records that also included names of the runners. The IAAF’s ethics commission is investigating the claims.

“AK would like to state that it has not received any formal communication in regard to the above said 25 athletes,” read the press statement.

The findings of Jeptoo’s B sample who tested positive for EPO, are expected this week. Jeptoo, the Boston and Chicago marathon winner, was the second high profile Kenyan runner after Mathew Kisorio who has since served his ban to fail a doping tests, reports that have blighted the local track and field struggling to shake off doping links amongst its country’s famed middle and long distance runners.

Six cases under scrutiny

 In the meantime the AK Medical and Antidoping Commission is studying six other runners Philip Kibiwot Kandie, James Maunga Nyankabaria, Alice Ndirangu, Elizabeth Jebet Chelagat, seasoned road runner Isaac Kimaiyo Kemboi and Bernard Mwendia Muthoni for possible doping sanctions.

So far at least 22 Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned over doping over the last 20 years confirming fears that were raised in a report compiled by the Government formed anti-doping task force which established that there was indeed wide spread doping in the country across various sports.

The investigations followed another doping expose by the German television who in 2012 claimed that blood doping is rampant amongst the high altitude training areas and Kenya lacks effective and technical means to test its athletes.

To avoid censures from the world anti doping agency, the government agreed to not only investigate the claims that were then dismissed by Athletics Kenya and also set up an Anti-doping centre in Kenya by 2015.