Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei suspended for doping

Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei could lose her title after being provisionally suspended by the AIU due to doping. 
The AIU said on Friday that Diana Kipyokei and Betty Wilson had used the banned substances triamcinolone acetonide. 

Athletics Integrity Unit has suspended Kenya’s 2021 Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei following a failed drug test. 

Diana Kipyokei risks being banned for four years and her Boston Marathon win disqualified. The 28-year-old won the Boston women’s race in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 45 seconds. 

Both the Athletics Integrity Unit and Boston Athletic Association said Diana Kipyokei would lose her Boston title should her case not be overturned after appeal.

Diana Kipyokei suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit due to doping. Photo/ The West Australian.

According to the World Athletics profile of Diana Kipyokei, she has not competed since winning the Boston Marathon. 

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has also suspended Diana Kipyokei’s compatriot, Betty Wilson, for doping. 

The two athletes have also been charged with obstructing the AIU investigations by providing false information. 

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit, Diana Kipyokei and Betty Wilson tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide. 

The samples of Diana Kipyokei were taken after she won the Boston Marathon in October last year. 

According to the AIU, ten Kenyan athletes have tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide since 2021. On the contrary, only two cases in athletics from the rest of the world have been reported within the same period. 

“After extensive investigations, the AIU has provisionally suspended two Kenyan marathoners, Diana Kipyokei and Betty Wilson Lempus, and charged them with various breaches of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules. These alleged anti-doping rule violations stem from probes into the information provided by the athletes to explain Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) for metabolites of triamcinolone acetonide in samples.”

The case of Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei has deepened suspicions that some Kenyan athletes use triamcinolone acetonide. 

On Thursday, the AIU banned Mark Kangogo for the use of triamcinolone acetonide and norandrosterone. The Kenyan marathoner is facing a three-year ban. 

What Is Triamcinolone Acetonide? 

Triamcinolone acetonide is categorized as a glucocorticoid commonly used as a therapeutic substance in sports. They are prohibited in athletic competitions, and their use is only permitted if a competitor produces proof that their use is not through prohibited way. 

The AIU, however, did not provide more information about the suspected tampering, which could be related to a Therapeutic Use Exemption document athletes should have before using triamcinolone acetonide. 

The case of British cyclist Bradley Wiggins is an example of a high-profile athlete who was permitted to take triamcinolone acetonide before a competition. 

Bradley Wiggins had a valid TUE for triamcinolone acetonide; hence he was allowed to use the therapeutic substance. He went ahead and won the 2012 Tour de France.  

Countrywoman Edna Kiplagat, who finished second in the Boston Marathon, is now in line to be upgraded as the competition’s champion. 

Edna Kiplagat won the Boston Marathon in 2017.

Kenyan Edna Kiplagat to be the 2021 Boston Marathon champion if Diana Kipyokei is stripped of her title. Photo/ Tuko.

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