Kenyan athlete handed three-year doping ban by AIU

Marius Kipserem tested positive for use or presence of EPO
He admitted to the doping charge
He becomes the fifth Kenyan to be banned since September

Kenyan athlete Marius Kipserem has been handed a three-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after his sample tested positive for recombinant erythropoietin (EPO), which is a banned substance.

Kipserem, who has won the Rotterdam Marathon twice and was second last year was to serve four years, but after admission of guilt, he has one year reduced and will now be banned until 2025.

According to the AIU, the 34-year old’s sample reported an Adverse Analytical Finding in the Sample based on the presence of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) on September 20. He was notified of the positive test two days later.

On 28 September, the Athlete returned a dated but unsigned Admission of Anti-Doping Rule Violations and Acceptance of Consequences Form dated. He was later interviewed, on October 4, but maintained his denials of doping and that he had no explanation for how the EPO had been detected in the Sample.

On October 11, the athlete wrote to the AIU stating that, due to technical difficulty, he was unable to return the Admission of Anti-Doping Rule Violations and Acceptance of Consequences Form properly signed. The Athlete expressly confirmed in writing that he admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violations and accepted the consequences.

All results nullified 

All his results since August 17, 2022 have been nullified, and will forfeit all resulting consequences, including titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money.

Kipserem’s ban now brings to five the number of Kenyan athletes who have been handed bans for various doping offences.

On September 21, top athlete Lilian Kasait was handed a 10-month ban for using a Prohibited Substance (Letrozole). A week later, Felix Kipchumba Korir and Emmanuel Saina were banned for three years each from 9 September, for using Norandrosterone. Both of them admitted to the charge and evaded a four-year ban.

On September 10, Philemon Kacheran was banned for three years as well, following admission for the use of Testosterone.

Mark Kangogo followed in the strong of bans just three days later when he was handed a three-year sanction for Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Norandrosterone & Triamcinolone acetonide).

Apart from the bans, four more Kenyans are provisionally suspended over various offences.

More athletes suspended 

Diana Kipyokei, the 2021 Boston Marathon champion is suspended for the Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Triamcinolone acetonide) and for Tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete and Betty Lempus is suspended for Tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete.

Training partners Ibrahim Mukunga Wachira and Kenneth Renju are also provisionally suspended. Wachira was suspended for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Norandrosterone) and his team-mate Kiprop for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Methasterone).

The latest trend of positive tests among athletes is worrying Athletics Kenya who have now engaged in missions especially in the athletics-rich North Rift region.

“It is a very worrying trend and of course as AK we are worried. We are having meetings with coaches, agents and the athletes themselves and hopefully we can get to the root bottom of this. We want to work with the government for tougher and more measures to punish those who are found to have broken the law straight from coaches, agents and even the medical practitioners,” said AK’s Head of Youth Barnaba Korir.

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