This file picture dated April 21, 2014 shows Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crossing the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts. World Marathon Majors organisers announced on October 31, 2014 they were postponing the awarding of this year's prize to Jeptoo after a report she has tested positive for doping. PHOTO
Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, who made history by winning four events in A World Marathon Majors (WMM), when she defended her Boston and Chicago Marathons titles, has failed a doping test.
Following the development, the WMM organisers who were due to reward the winners of the 2013/2014 WMM on Sunday after the New York Marathon, have cancelled the ceremony.
A statement from Athletics Kenya late Friday also confirmed the incident saying they will now convene a meeting with Jeptoo next week to establish whether she would wish to order for testing of the “B” sample.
In such situations, and as per the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) rules, a ''B'' sample of Jeptoo must be tested, and the representative of the athlete, or athlete may be in attendance. The B sample has not been tested at this time.
The out of competition urine sample testing procedure was done in Kenya.
Jeptoo was at AK headquarters on Thursday evening to be informed of the news from the IAAF. Jeptoo’s victory in Chicago saw her accumulate 100 points to win the WMM.
Jeptoo is managed by Rosa Associati of Federico Rosa, who also managed Mathew Kisorio before the athlete served a two-year international ban for steroid use.
Kisorio was the highest profile Kenyan runner in recent times caught in the doping web when both of his samples failed in 2012 before Jeptoo’s story started to unravel.
Kisorio, who captained Kenya to the 2011 World Cross Country Championships, has since left Rosa Associati after his ban that ended in July this year.
“Athletics Kenya is disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF in regards to the doping test results of above named athlete through the 'A' sample collected during out of competition on 25th September 2014," read the statement from AK. “The result of the ‘A’ sample has indicated the presence of prohibited substances.”
The WMM also expressed disappointment on learning that Jeptoo had apparently had an A test that proved positive for a banned substance under IAAF rules.
The WMM has been at the forefront of the fight against doping in our sport and has a rule that no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title, who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules.
Nick Bitel General, Counsel of WMM said the WMM has always held a stern line on drug cheats and has been proactively supporting the sports governing bodies to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races. “Cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught,” said Bitel.
Bitel said the WMM will not make a decision until Jeptoo’s case is determined hence forcing them to postpone the WMM Awards Ceremony that was due to take place on Sunday.
A recent report released by the Anti-Doping Task Force Committee set up by the government, accused AK of not taking doping issues seriously with AK president Isaiah Kiplagat facing the wrath of the Committee.
The Task Force disclosed that 32 Kenyan athletes tested positive with 17 failing drug tests between 2012 and 2013. The huge numbers saw WADA raise a red flag as they threatened Kenya with a ban from international competitions last year if the Government failed to take action.
The turn of events now puts AK and Kiplagat on the spotlight especially after Kiplagat failed to appear before the Task Force