Athletics fraternity in Kenya has once again been left with a lot to ponder as another elite was provisionally suspended yesterday by the Athletics Integrity Unit after returning anti0doping rule violation.
2017 Tokyo marathon champion Sarah Chepchichir was suspended after an anti-doping rule violation under the ABP (Athletes Biological passport).
Questions have been raised over the latest drug burst, now that it has been established that Chepchirchir is a close relative of disgraced 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong, who was just last month slapped with an eight-year ban.
Chepchirchir’s case is quoted under Article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules, which deal with use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.
It states: “2.2.1; It is each athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his (or her) body and that no prohibited method is used. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on the athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish an Anti-Doping Rule Violation for use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.”
“2.2.2 The success or failure of the use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method is not material. It is sufficient that the prohibited substance or prohibited method was used or attempted to be used for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation to be committed.”
Chepchirchir last race was at last year’s Shanghai International Marathon where she finished 11th.
Athletics Kenya President Lt Gen(RTD) Jack Tuwei regretted the latest development but insisted that the war against doping will not be won overnight while Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya CEO Japhter Rugut said he will only comment once he has all the facts, on Monday.
Tuwei said they will step up efforts to ensure Kenyan athletes are clean and those that are using prohibited circumstances are identified and shamed. “This war will not be won overnight. We must continue educating our athletes to stay clean,” added Tuwei.
“We have had conversations with all our athletes and no one is being forced to dope. It’s a personal decision so those found will carry their own cross and face the consequences.”
Tuwei said a time has come for even the athletes support staff and collaborators to face the music.