Kenya has banned seven athletes, including two female sprinters sent home from the World Championships in Beijing, for doping offences, Athletics Kenya (AK) said in a statement yesterday.
The government’s athletics body “confirmed the sanctioning of the athletes for various doping offences,” with bans ranging from two to four years, AK said.
Two-time cross-country world champion Emily Chebet was among the athletes banned late on Friday, another indication that the country has a serious problem of cheating among its famed distance runners.
Chebet, the cross-country world champion in 2010 and 2013, was banned for four years after testing positive for the diuretic and masking agent furosemide, AK said.
The list of sanctions announced by AK included bans for the two runners who failed doping tests at the World Championships in Beijing in August. Joyce Zakary and Koki Manunga, who were provisionally suspended at the Worlds, also received four-year bans for furosemide.
There has been a recent spike in doping cases in Kenya and more than 40 athletes have now failed tests since 2012. Kenyan track officials are under scrutiny after allegations of doping cover-ups, and separate accusations of embezzlement of money at the national federation.
Last week, a group of athletes stormed the AK headquarters in Nairobi demanding the resignation of top officials over the corruption allegations.
Along with her two cross-country world titles, the 29-year-old Chebet was a bronze medalist in the 10,000m at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Scotland. Her ban was backdated to July 17 and she will be unable to compete until July 16, 2019.
The other four athletes banned on Friday were Agnes Jepkosgei, Bernard Mwendia, Judy Jesire Kimuge and Lilian Moraa Marita. Jepkosgei was banned for four years for testing positive for the anabolic steroid metabolite norandrosterone. Mwendia was given a two-year ban for norandrosterone. Kimuge was banned for two years for norandrolone and Marita for two years for the blood booster erythropoietin.
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