Chicago, Bos­ton marathon win­ner Jep­too banned for four years

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

For­mer Chicago and Bos­ton Marathon win­ner Rita Jep­too had her dop­ing ban dou­bled to four years yes­ter­day by the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport.

In its rul­ing, the CAS judg­ing panel ex­tended Jep­too’s ban un­til Oc­to­ber 2018 and stripped her of her 2014 win in Bos­ton, plus re­sults, prize and ap­pear­ance money dat­ing back to April 17, 2014. The Kenyan run­ner pre­vi­ously lost her 2014 Chicago vic­tory. Jep­too had been due to earn a $500,000 bonus for lead­ing the World Marathon Ma­jors series stand­ings for the com­bined 2013 and 2014 sea­sons. She won back-to-back Bos­ton and Chicago ti­tles in 2013. Now 35, Jep­too tested pos­i­tive for EPO in a Septem­ber 2014 sam­ple given dur­ing train­ing for the Chicago race. Last week, Jep­too spoke of her in­ten­tion to re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion once her ini­tial twoyear ban ex­pired. But on Wed­nes­day her part­ner said they were ex­pect­ing that the pun­ish­ment might be ex­tended after the IAAF ap­pealed what it felt was a le­nient ban im­posed by the Kenyan track fed­er­a­tion. “They had said they would add two years and she was aware of that,” said Noah Busienei, Jep­too’s part­ner. “There is no other av­enue avail­able to ap­peal the de­ci­sion and we shall de­cide the way for­ward.”

CAS said it up­held the IAAF’s ap­peal to in­crease Jep­too’s orig­i­nal two-year ban, which was to ex­pire this week. Ath­letes can be banned for four years over a first of­fense if there are ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances.

“(It) was ob­vi­ous to the panel that the ath­lete used EPO as part of a scheme or plan,” the panel ruled, cit­ing ev­i­dence in­clud­ing her long re­la­tion­ship with the uniden­ti­fied doc­tor and “mul­ti­ple vis­its to see him” which she hid from her man­ager and coach. The “undis­puted source” of the red blood cell-boost­ing hor­mone was an in­jec­tion by her doc­tor, the rul­ing stated.

Jep­too was also crit­i­cized for “de­cep­tive and ob­struc­tive con­duct through­out the (CAS) pro­ceed­ings.”“The ath­lete pro­vided var­i­ous dif­fer­ing ac­counts of the cir­cum­stances lead­ing up to the in­jec­tion and also re­gard­ing her re­la­tion­ship with that doc­tor,” the court said in a state­ment.

Jep­too is the high­est pro­file of dozens of Kenyan ath­letes to be banned for dop­ing of­fenses over the last four years. Her case re­flects a com­mon is­sue in Kenya: Doc­tors pro­vid­ing ath­letes with banned sub­stances for cash.— AP

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