Kenya’s Doping Scandal: What You Need To Know!

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– AIU bans Nicholas Kosimbei, Ibrahim Wachira, Sophy Jepchirchir, Elias Kemei.

– Sophy Jepchirchir tested positive for testosterone, banned 3 years.

– Kosimbei tested positive for Trimetazidine post-Atlanta Half Marathon.

– Prohibited substances under WADA 2024 Prohibited List.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Kenya’s Nicholas Kosimbei, Ibrahim Mukunga Wachira, Sophy Jepchirchir and Elias Kiprono Kemei for the presence and use of prohibited substances, each receiving different lengths of suspension.

The agency revealed that 30-year-old Sophy Jepchirchir’s urine samples, collected on April 7, 2024, tested positive for testosterone following an analysis conducted by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Barcelona.

As a result, the athlete has been handed a three-year ban, which began on June 7, 2024.

Testosterone is a prohibited substance under the WADA 2024 Prohibited List, classified under category S1.1 Anabolic Androgenic Steroids.

Meanwhile, the AIU also stated that 2014 World Under-20 10,000m bronze medalist Nicholas Kosimbei tested positive for Trimetazidine in February last year following the Atlanta Half Marathon, in which he finished second.

“In summary, the athlete’s explanation is that he was prescribed Trimetazidine 35mg at a private clinic on December 16, 2022, to treat chest pain, and that he took the medication twice a day for three days from that date,” the agency revealed.

Trimetazidine is a banned substance due to its ability to enhance endurance during physical activity.

The agency further revealed that the athlete has accepted the ban and waived his right to appeal. He will serve a three-year ban starting on March 24, 2023.

Another Kenyan athlete banished by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is Ibrahim Mukunga Wachira. Wachira has been banished to the athletics wilderness for six years after testing positive for the banned substances norandrosterone and tamoxifen.

According to the AIU’s account, Wachira showed up at a hospital in Karatina with a dose of norandrosterone, which he directed to be injected for relief from knee pain.

The 32-year-old tested positive from a urine sample provided in September 2022 after an in-competition event in Tallinn, Estonia.

“On March 1, 2024, AIU received a second handwritten response from the Alpha Medical Clinic dated 28 February 2024 which confirmed, inter alia, that the athlete had visited Alpha Medical Clinic for assistance in administering already prescribed injections,” the agency revealed.

Despite the revelations, Wachira insisted that the medication had been prescribed to him at the clinic.

The agency reveals the athlete was further unable to explain the tamoxifen metabolites in his blood samples.

The AIU has banned Elias Kiprono Kemei (Kenya) for 3 years from 19 March 2024 for Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Trimetazidine).

Kenyans Banned

The 270 Kenyans who have been barred from competition between 2015 and late February 2024 include some of the country’s most decorated athletes: Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 women’s Olympic marathon champion; Wilson Kipsang, the 2014 New York City Marathon champion and a former marathon world-record holder; Rita Jeptoo, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon; and Asbel Kiprop, a former world and Olympic champion in the men’s 1,500 meters.

Another Kenyan champion, Titus Ekiru, who has run the sixth-fastest marathon time ever, was barred from competition for 10 years for using prohibited substances and for falsifying medical documents with the aid of a Kenyan doctor.

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