Athletics Integrity Unit bans three Kenyans for doping

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By Morris Rawal

Even though the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Monday banned three more Kenyans for various infractions, the doping problem in the nation is far from over.

Sprinter Mark Otieno was given a two-year penalty for using an illegal drug (methasterone) after testing positive during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. His sentence  began on July 31, 2021, and all of his results from June 24, 2021 will be thrown out.

The second Kenyan to be barred is Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai, who was given a three-year suspension for using testosterone, making all of her results from September 20, 2022, invalid.

Johnstone Maiyo, who used EPO and had results from May 29, 2022, annulled, also receives a three-year suspension.

While competing in several events, including the Frankfurt and Taipei marathons, Maiyo won the Kigali International Peace Marathon in May 2022, which has since been declared invalid.

He also finished third in the Hamburg Marathon in 2011 and won the Wuhan Marathon in 2016.

Jepkemboi, on the other hand, has won a number of marathons, most recently the EDP Porto Marathon, which has since been declared disqualified, the Taiyuan Marathon in 2018, the Cremona Half Marathon in 2015, the Hangzhou Marathon, where she came in second, the Boston Half Marathon in 2013, and the Valencia Half Marathon (2014), where she came in fifth.

Kenya vowed early this month to clean up its act after escaping a World Athletics ban for doping that threatened to make the east African track and field powerhouse a sporting pariah.

The athletics giant has been in the top category on the World-Anti Doping Agency watch list since February 2016, alongside only Bahrain, Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria and Ukraine.

There are currently 55 Kenyans listed on the AIU’s global list of ineligible athletes, last updated on November 21.

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