Chicago, Boston marathon winner Jeptoo banned for four years
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