The running world is in shock as it was reported that Rita Jeptoo, who was about to receive the women’s World Marathon Majors award together with $500,000, has tested positive for a banned substance, reported to be EPO. The A sample test which was taken at the end of September in Jeptoo’s home country of Kenya, was an out of competition urine test. WADA’s (the World Anti-Doping Association) rules dictate that Jeptoo must agree to the B sample being tested and either Jeptoo herself, or her representative must be present while it is being tested. Athletics Kenya say they will be talking to Jeptoo this week and asking whether she wants to order the testing of the B sample.
CHICAGO AND BOSTON MARATHON WINNER 2014
Rita Jeptoo won both the Chicago and Boston Marathons this year and broke her personal record and the course record in the Boston marathon with a time of 2:18:57. Jeptoo’s coach, Claudio Berardelli is shocked beyond belief and eventually spoke out, “I am still a little bit shocked about Rita. The IAAF asked me if I had heard anything and I said, ‘Not really’. That’s what’s shocking me. I am there for the last 11 years, for 11 months of the year. I feel stupid. It’s a problem, even for those that are clean. That’s my main concern. I have a large number of athletes and I am thinking of all those honest athletes that are going to be affected.....The entire Kenyan system will be affected. The credibility. Now people will say, ‘Now we know. We know why the Kenyan runner can run fast.’ But I know why they run fast. I know how they train. The motivation.” Jeptoo’s agent, Frederico Rosa, insisted that none of Jeptoo’s management team had anything to do with this positive testing, but they would definitely find out who was responsible for persuading their athlete to take a banned substance and said they felt sorry for her.
A report was published last month raising concerns over the use of banned substances among Kenyan athletes. This report was welcomed by the IAAF and WADA and was seen as a step in the right direction which would lead to strict controls in every country in the world. It is reported that at least thirty six Kenyans have tested positive for banned substances over the last two years. Moses Kiptanui, one of Kenya’s running stars, told media last year that doping among the Kenyan athletic fraternity was high. Last year, two marathon runners, Wilson Loyanae Eupe and Nixon Kiplagat Cherutich, were both banned from running for two years after positive drug tests. WMM (World Marathon Majors) said, “Cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught.” Nick Bitel of the WMM said that no decision had been made yet as the matter needed to be thoroughly investigated. Last year the WMM made it clear to Kenya and other countries, that if there were continued positive drug tests then the country would be banned from international competitions. Remember to wear your reflective running vest or reflective belt when running your next marathon.