Another Kenyan athlete handed 5 years ban for doping

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By Morris Rawal

Purity Cherotich Rionoripo is the newest Kenyan to receive a doping-related suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Diana Kipyokei, another Kenyan, received a six-year suspension from the AIU at the same time. As a result, she will no longer be eligible to win the women’s division of the Boston Marathon in 2021.

After previously being accused of interfering with any aspect of doping control by an athlete, the AIU charged another Kenyan, Betty Wilson Lempus, for the presence of a prohibited drug (triamcinolone acetonide), and she was consequently kept provisionally suspended.

Rionoripo, the winner of the 2017 Paris and 2021 Prague marathons, received a five-year suspension for using the drug Furosemide and interfering with any aspect of the anti-doping program.

As a result, all of Rionoripo’s results since May 30, 2022, have been thrown out.

She provided supporting evidence for her allegation that a doctor at a hospital had prescribed medicine for her to treat an ankle ailment during her explanation. Investigations however showed that despite Rionoripo receiving care at the hospital, she had changed her prescription to include Lasix (the commercial name for Furosemide).

Due to the false prescription paperwork, she was consequently charged on November 21, 2022, with Possession or Use of a Specific Prohibited Substance and Tampering or Attempted Tampering with Any Part of Doping Control.

Due to Rionoripo’s early admission and acceptance of the sentence, the AIU’s six-year total ban that was sought due to the existence of aggravating circumstances was lowered by one year.

Meanwhile, Sprinter Mark Otieno, who tested positive during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, has been slapped with a two-year ban for use of a prohibited substance (Methasterone), seeing his suspension start July 31, 2021 hence all his results from June 24, 2021 nullified.

Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai is the second Kenyan banned, receiving a three-year suspension for use of a prohibited substance (Testosterone) seeing all her results from September 20, 2022 disqualified.

Also getting a three-year ban is Johnstone Maiyo for using EPO with his results from May 29, 2022 quashed.

Maiyo has competed in many races like Frankfurt Marathon and Taipei Marathon among others while winning the Kigali International Peace Marathon in May 2022 which is now disqualified.

Other races he won was the Wuhan Marathon in 2016 and coming third in Hamburg Marathon in 2011.

On the other hand, Jepkemboi has won several marathons including recently EDP Porto Marathon, which is now disqualified, Taiyuan Marathon in 2018, Cremona Half Marathon in 2015, Hangzhou Marathon where she finished second, came third in Boston Half Marathon in 2013 and Valencia Half Marathon (2014) where she finished fifth.

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