Athletics Kenya have reported that one of thein top marathon runner Rita Jeptoo is now facing a two-year suspension after her “B” sample tested positive for EPO.
EPO artificially increases the bodies red blood cell count so that athletes are able to deliver more oxygen to their muscles, allowing them to run harder and faster for longer.
“The “B” sample has come back positive from the out-of-competition test in September,” Athletics Kenya vice-president David Okeyo told AFP.“Jeptoo attended the test in person in Lausanne. We will meet in January to discuss the way forward.”
33-year-old Jeptoo is the two-time winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons and is the highest profile Kenyan athlete to date to test positive.
The confirmation of the positive test comes just days after Athletics Kenya announced that Wilson Kipsang had missed a drugs test whilst Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo have both received two year bans on Monday for failed doping tests. Five further athletes are said to have aroused suspicion.
Kenyan government officials have blamed the increase in failed tests on the influence of foreign agents and Athletics Kenya’s failure to educate athletes properly.