Former Olympic and world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop tests positive for banned substance

Asbel Kiprop, the Olympic and three times world champion over 1500m, has tested positive for a banned substance.

His agent, Federico Rosa, would confirm only that he had ‘heard the same rumour’ and was ‘still trying to get confirmation’.

But senior athletics sources have confirmed to Sportsmail that the man widely regarded as the finest 1500m runner of the last decade has failed an out of competition test.

WHO IS ABSEL KIPROP?

The Kenyan middle-distance runner specialises in the 1500m, winning Olympic gold in 2008 after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drugs test. Aged just 19, Kiprop was the youngest Olympic 1500m champion since 1912.

The 28-year-old is also a three-time world champion in the event — winning in 2011, 2013 and 2015 — but finished last in the 1500m final at London 2012.

He came sixth at the 2016 Olympics and ninth at the World Championships in London.

It is understood Kiprop is arguing there has been an error with a sample taken in late 2017.

On Wednesday night he said: ‘I have read the reports linking me to doping. As an athlete, I have been at the forefront of the fight against doping in Kenya, a fight I strongly believe in and support.

‘I would not want to ruin all what I have worked for since my first international race in 2007. I hope I can prove that I am a clean athlete in every way possible.’

It would represent a massive blow to athletics as well as Kenyan distance running when it was only last year that Jemima Sumgong, the Olympic women’s marathon champion in Rio in 2016, tested positive for EPO and was banned for four years.

But it is a measure of the IAAF’s willingness to catch even the biggest names since the formation of the Athletics Integrity Unit under the presidency of Lord Coe.

Kiprop has been on the start list of the opening Diamond League of the season in Doha since the event began in 2010 but he is not listed among the athletes to compete there this coming Friday.

The 28-year-old shot to prominence in 2008 when, aged just 19, he finished second in the Olympic 1500m final in Beijing. He was only narrowly beaten by Rashid Ramzi but his silver medal was upgraded to gold when the Bahraini runner tested positive for CERA, which is a modern form of EPO.

At the world championships Kiprop dominated his event, winning in 2011, 2013 and 2015, running the third fastest 1500m in history in 2015 too.

A report in Kenya on Tuesday said a ‘high profile runner’ who has ‘dominated world championships over the years’ was embroiled in a doping scandal.

And they claimed that, while there was no confirmation from the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) or Athletics Kenya (AK), their sources has said the substance was the same blood-boosting drug used by Sumgong.

Once considered the home of distance running, Kenya have had a rash of positive tests – in 2016 they reported 40 cases over the previous four years – with marathon star Rita Jeptoo also being caught using EPO. Like Kiprop she too was managed by Rosa, who was the subject of a doping investigation by the Kenyan authorities in 2016.

The case was, however, dropped before it went to court and Rosa said he was fearful that Kiprop had indeed tested positive. ‘I recognise it’s a big story but if it’s true it will be very sad,’ he said.

A spokesperson for the AIU said: ‘For confidentiality reasons, the AIU cannot confirm or deny a query of this kind.’

In a tweet on April 29, Kiprop said: ‘Jesus had to died for your conveniency. But rose for your dreams. He died for us. He is alive & so we shall.’

Read more: dailymail.

Kenyan duo Chumba, Kiplagat win Chicago Marathon titles

Dickson Chumba captured the Chicago Marathon men’s title, leading a Kenyan sweep of the top three podium spots on Sunday.

Chumba crossed the finish line in 2hr 09min 25sec to beat Sammy Kitwara (2:09.50) in a race that featured slower times than usual after organizers decided not to include pace-setters.

Sammy Ndungu (2:10.06) claimed the bronze, outsprinting Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu Gebru (2:10.07) down the stretch for the final podium position.

Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat won the women’s title in a time of 2:23.33 as athletes from the East African distance running powerhouses dominated both elite fields.

Chumba’s time was five minutes slower than Eliud Kipchoge’s winning time last year at 2:04.11. The world record stands at 2:02.57.

The decision to drop the pace-setters made for a slower race but was done to try and combat doping in the sport.

Rita Jeptoo, a three-time women’s winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time winner in Chicago, is the biggest name in Kenyan athletics to be swept up in the doping scandal that has cast a shadow over the distance running community.

Despite a slower time on Sunday, Chumba, who finished third in Chicago last year in 2:04.32, improved his podium position by two spots.

He has been one of the most consistent runners over the last year, winning the Tokyo Marathon in 2014 and finishing third there earlier this year.

In his last unpaced major marathon, he finished seventh (2:14.08) at 2013 in Boston.

Pre-race favourite Kitwara had been hoping to finally reach the top of podium after finishing fourth in 2012, third in 2013 and second in 2014.

Kiplagat, who placed second behind Jeptoo last year, still had enough energy after completing the 26.2 mile course to celebrate her victory with several quick leaps for joy in the finish area.

Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese finished second in 2:23.43 while Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia placed third in 2:24.24.

Photo Credits : AFP

Court orders Athletics Kenya rebels Special General Meeting stopped

The High Court on Wednesday barred rebel branches of Athletics Kenya (AK) from convening their scheduled November 14 Special General Meeting until an application filed is heard 12 days later.

“High Court issues orders barring Athletics Kenya rebel group from holding any SGM on 14th November, 2014 or any other date pending hearing of the application inter partes on 26th November, 2014,” the statement announcing the development read.

The SGM called for by 14 dissenting branches of the federation on Friday was meant, among other issues in its agenda, to press for the removal from office of long-serving AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat.

Following the recent doping controversy surrounding top female marathoner Rita Jeptoo, lack of stern action to stem substance abuse among the country’s runners was also adopted as a major issue.

The court order came as Kiplagat and top members of his executive are due to fly out to Monaco for the IAAF Congress to press for the country to be awarded the 2017 World Youth Championships rights on the same day the SGM was to be held in what was read to be a properly timed leadership coup.

 

Jeptoo challenges doping claim, wants second test

A request by Kenyan athlete Rita Jeptoo to have a second sample analyzed for banned substances has been forwarded to the IAAF.

The Chicago marathon winner has been accused of doping after her sample A tested positive in an EPO test.

Jeptoo who had “disputed” the EPO finding, on Tuesday appeared before Athletics Kenya where she expressed her right to have her sample B analyzed.

The 33-year-old claimed her second straight title in Chicago on Oct. 12. She was set to be crowned winner of the World Marathon Majors series over the weekend before it was revealed Friday that she had failed a doping test.

The failed test was around two weeks before her latest victory in Chicago.

 

Rita Jeptoo appears before Athletics Kenya after failing doping test

Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo Thursday appeared before senior Athletics Kenya officials to respond to reports of failing a doping test.

Jeptoo’s “A” sample taken in an out-of-competition test on September 25 showed traces of the blood-boosting drug.

Jeptoo is one of the highest-profile Kenyan athletes to fail the test.

She has won back-to-back titles at both the Boston and Chicago marathons and was about to be crowned winner of the World Marathon Majors series before it was revealed last week that she had failed a doping test.

Jeptoo said the accusation was false. At least 36 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests in the last two years.