Jacob Kiplimo’s Fierce Kenyan Rival Career Shattered by Doping Scandal

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– Rodgers Kwemoi suspended for six years for doping.

– Competition results from July 2016 to August 2023 annulled.

– Titles, medals, and awards forfeited.

– Kwemoi failed to respond to doping allegations.

Former World Under-20 champion Rodgers Kwemoi has been handed a six-year suspension after the Istanbul Half Marathon winner was found guilty of breaching anti-doping rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday.

Kwemoi, a rising star in road running, had represented Kenya in numerous events, including the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

The AIU in a statement disclosed that Kwemoi was informed about irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) profile and warned of potential charges.

However, he failed to respond within the specified timeframe, leading to strict sanctions from the doping authorities. 

Titles, medals, and awards forfeited.

The ban will be retroactive to August 8, 2023, and Kwemoi’s competition results from July 18, 2016, to August 8, 2023, will be annulled.

The Japan-based athlete will forfeit the Istanbul Half Marathon title, his 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medal, and his 2016 World Under-20 Championship gold in the 10,000m.

“All the athlete’s results obtained since 18 July 2016 until the date that the provisional suspension was imposed are disqualified pursuant to Rules 9, 10.1, and 10.10 of the 2021 Anti-Doping Rules, with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points, prizes, and prize and appearance money,” the AIU statement read.

Failed to respond to doping allegations

The AIU stated that in May last year, they informed Kwemoi of the irregularities in his ABP profile and considered bringing charges against him. He was invited to explain the discrepancies but did not respond within the deadline.

Kwemoi later argued that the irregularities were due to natural variations influenced by changes in climate, altitude, and other environmental factors. However, the panel rejected his explanation.

Despite this, he insisted that the AIU’s explanation was insufficient to conclude that he violated anti-doping rules.

According to the AIU, inconsistencies in the Japan-based runner’s samples were noted before the 2016 World Under-20 Championships, leading to the ruling that his ban started from that time, disqualifying his results since then.

The disciplinary tribunal’s decision indicated that Kwemoi engaged in a deliberate, systematic, and sophisticated doping scheme, which would not have been feasible without intentional effort and expert assistance.

Kwemoi rose to prominence in 2016 by defeating Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo to win gold in the World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He later secured a bronze medal as a Commonwealth debutant in 2018. He finished fourth in the 2019 World Championships and seventh in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The 28-year-old athlete is part of the Kogyo Corporate team in Japan but splits his time between Kogyo and the Global Communication camp in Kaptagat, Kenya under coach Patrick Sang.

This is notably the same training camp where global superstars Eliud Kipchoge, Faith Kipyegon, and Geoffrey Kamworor train.

He may challenge the decision through an appeal made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Rodgers Kwemoi Chumo Profile

Rodgers Kwemoi Chumo (born 3 March 1997) is a Kenyan long-distance runner specialising in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres. He is the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist at the longer distance.

Born in Kenya’s Mount Elgon District,he made his international debut in the junior race at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where his tenth-place finish helped the Kenyan men to the team title. As a result of this, he was signed up by the Asian Kogyo corporate team in Japan.

In the 2016 season he won at the Kenyan junior trials and went on to claim the 10,000 m gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in championship record time.

Kwemoi won back-to-back titles at the Tilburg Ten Miles in 2016 and 2017, but failed to make the national team in the latter season.

 He topped the national trials race for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, however, which led to the 10,000 m bronze medal at the event in Gold Coast, Queensland.

In 2019, he placed fourth in 10,000m final at the World Championships in Doha.

Kwemoi qualified to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he placed seventh in the 10,000 m.

In August 2023, Kwemoi was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for a “Prohibited Substance/Method” violation.

International competitions

Representing Kenya
2015World Cross Country ChampionshipsGuiyang, China10thJunior race24:11
1stTeam19 pts
2016World U20 ChampionshipsBydgoszcz, Poland1st10,000 m27:25.23
2018Commonwealth GamesGold Coast, Australia3rd10,000 m27:28.66
2019World ChampionshipsDoha, Qatar4th10,000 m26:55.36
2021Olympic GamesTokyo, Japan7th10,000 m27:50.06
2022World ChampionshipsEugene, United States15th10,000 m27:52.26
Marathons representing Kenya
2022Istanbul Half MarathonIstanbul, Turkey1stHalf marathon59:15 CR

Personal bests


5000 m13:18.982 April 2016Kumamoto
10000 m26:55.366 October 2019Doha
10 Miles45:033 September 2017Tilburg
Half Marathon58:3019 February 2022Ras Al Khaimah

One thought on “Jacob Kiplimo’s Fierce Kenyan Rival Career Shattered by Doping Scandal

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