Kenya's Sumgong banned for four years for doping offence

 07 Nov 2017 - 17:09

Kenya's Sumgong banned for four years for doping offence
(FILES) This file photo taken on August 14, 2016 shows Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong running on her way to win the Women's Marathon during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro. AFP / Adrian DENNIS


NAIROBI: Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has been handed a four-year ban by Kenya's anti-doping agency (ADAK) after testing positive for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), officials said on Tuesday.

Officials said Sumgong, who became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon title when she struck gold in Rio last year, had failed an out of competition test in April, days before she was due to defend her London Marathon title. Her four-year ban has been backdated to April 3.

The matter was taken to the Sports Disputes Tribunal by ADAK, as recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

The ruling said that the athlete owned up to her "unfortunate offence and unintended mistake." She did not request that her B sample be tested after her A sample was returned from Lausanne.

The 32-year-old's claim that she failed the test after undergoing treatment at a Kenyan hospital for an ectopic pregnancy was rejected as "not authentic" by the tribunal, as the hospital in question denied treating the athlete.

Sumgong became Kenya's latest high profile athlete to fail a drugs test after former Boston and Chicago Marathon champion, Rita Jeptoo, also tested positive for EPO in 2014 and was banned for four years.