Asbel Kiprop handed four-year ban by IAAF

By Robert Abong'o: Saturday, April 20th 2019 at 13:18 GMT +3 | Sports
Olympic and three-time World 1,500 metres world champion Asbel Kiprop [Courtesy]

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Olympic and three-time World 1,500 metres world champion Asbel Kiprop for four years.

Kiprop had been suspended in May last year by IAAF’s Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for Erythroprotein (EPO), a blood-boosting substance which increases the production of red blood cells, encouraging more oxygen flow in the body.

The AIU confirmed that two urine samples collected from Asbel’s home on November 27, 2017 returned adverse findings, confirming the presence of EPO in his system.

Kiprop, welcomed as one of the finest middle distance runners of this era, refused to take the Adverse Doping Result Verdict (ADRV) lying down, storming social media accusing AIU of a personal witch hunt.

The 29-year-old maintained that his original samples had been tampered with by officials -- who he claimed are punishing him for not being generous enough with the money he gave them.

Asbel Kiprop wins the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 [Courtesy]

“I have been left to fight this on my own. I have had no support even from my fellow athletes, some who have questioned my integrity in public,” said Kiprop.

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Last month, his lawyer Katwa Kigen told court samples retrieved from his client yielded different results despite the fact that they were drawn from the same athlete, at the same lab.

But, it was established that the tests were done in different labs by different people.

According to Kigen, the AIU refused requests for a re-test in order to determine if the DNA samples were truly Asbel’s.

Kigen also questioned the integrity of the examination process, saying his client was informed of an imminent sample collection, conflicting with doping protocols which require athletes to alert doping control officers of their location.

“Tests on other athletes shows laboratories occasionally get mistaken conclusions that EPO is artificial. The tests are as fact matters of interpretation, and are relative and subjective,” argued Kigen.

As these astonishing revelations unfolded last year, Kiprop seemed to be in emotional distress, which was compounded by a damming video leaked on social media of him groping a lady in his car.

Screen grab of the leaked video [Courtesy]

Part of the statement by Athletics Integrity Unit

“Analysis of the sample collected from the athlete on 27 November 2017 demonstrated the presence of EPO. Analysis of the B sample confirmed the adverse analytical finding. EPO is a prohibited substance included in section 2 of the WADA 2017 Prohibited List, Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics.

None of the medications disclosed by the athlete on the DCF contains EPO and none of them could have caused the Adverse Analytical Finding. The presence of EPO in the sample therefore remains as valid evidence in support of the charge against the athlete for the presence and use of EPO.

The athletes results from the date of anti-doping violation November 27,2017 until the date of his provisional suspension February 3,2018 shall be disqualified with all consequences, including the forfeiture of any medals, titles, awards, points, prize and appearance money…”

 

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