Joyce Chepkirui, a Kenyan long-distance runner, has been banned for four years for violating the athlete biological passport (ABP).
In 2014, the 33-year-old won the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as well as the African championship in the same event in Marrakech.
Chepkirui has been on hold since June 2019 after an expert panel looked at irregularities in blood samples taken by World Athletics between 2016 and 2017.
The panel decided that the “chance of irregularities in findings being related to blood manipulation” – the use of a stimulant to artificially boost red blood cells – was “high.”
Chepkirui rationalized the findings by claiming that she had hormone imbalance and vaginal bleeding caused by a contraceptive shot every three months, that she ate an iron-rich diet, and that she used three medicines to cure these disorders.
After upholding an appeal submitted by the Athletics Integrity Unit, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) decided to ban Chepkirui, and her four-year period of ineligibility was backdated to the commencement of her interim suspension.
Chepkirui’s results from April 6, 2016, to August 4, 2017, including a third-place finish in the Boston Marathon in April 2016, would be nullified, and she will be forced to surrender any medals, awards, or appearance fees she earned during that period.
Meanwhile, Cas has determined that the Kenyan Anti-Doping Agency must pay World Athletics 2,000 Swiss Francs (US$2,140) as a payment to its legal fees and other expenditures.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) continues to classify Kenya as a category A country, indicating that the country is still at high risk of doping.
As a result, three out of competition examinations are still required of Kenyan athletes in the 10-month period leading up to a World Championships or Olympic Games.
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