I will not go down without a fight, vows Asbel Kiprop

Asbel Kiprop [Courtesy]

Olympic and three-time World 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop has maintained his innocence after the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) hit him with a four-year ban yesterday.

Kiprop’s ban has been back dated to February 3, 2018 when he was provisionally suspended and will end in 2021. He will be 32 years old.

“I still maintain that I’m clean and I did not dope. But it’s hard for me, considering that I have competed for many years and won clean. If it is true that I used the banned substances, I could I have accepted my fate long time ago. But how can I accept something I never did.” Kiprop said yesterday. 

On his part, lawyer, Katwa Kigen said: “Definitely we are going to appeal the decision by IAAF by end of next week.”  

The sample collected from Kiprop on November 27, 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,” the AIU  statement reads.

In Kiprop’s submissions to IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal in London on March 21, 2019, Kiprop’s lawyer Kigen claimed that tests on the samples yielded different results despite the fact that the samples had been drawn from the same athlete at the same time and at the same laboratory.

AIU, an independent body which manages all doping matters for IAAF said: “The panel is aware that its order will interrupt and may even terminate the athlete’s sporting career and cast a shadow over his impressive competitive record.”

The panel noted his clean record and “antipathy to doping” - he missed out on being presented with his Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 because the initial winner, Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi, was later found to have been a drugs cheat.

The statement further read: “The athlete’s 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.”

Kiprop has joined the long list of doping offenders that includes Rio 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong and Rita Jeptoo.

Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon three times, setting the course record (2:18:57) before testing positive of EPO in 2014.

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