Olympic marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa provisionally suspended for EPO doping

By Clinton Nyabuto: Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Eunice Kirwa has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for doping [Photo, Courtesy]

Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist Eunice Kirwa has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for Erythropoietin (EPO) use – a blood-boosting substance.

The AIU said that Kirwa tested positive for the endurance-boosting hormone EPO.

The 35-year-old Bahraini (born in Kenya) has been temporarily suspended from participating in any athletics competition before an ultimate decision on her possible ban is made at a hearing to review the International Association of Athletics Federation's anti-doping rules.

Kirwa bagged silver at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the women’s marathon after finishing behind Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong who is banned till 2027 after testing positive for EPO use.

Sumgong had been initially issued a four-year ban but appealed the suspension where she lied on her doping hearing then got slapped with the eight-year ban.

She had painted her name in the history books by becoming the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic marathon.

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The provisional suspension of Kirwa comes after half marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum was suspended for Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation just before the London Marathon last month.

“The AIU confirms a provisional suspension against Kenyan long-distance runner Abraham Kiptum for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) anti-doping rules,” tweeted the AIU last month.

Kirwa’s husband, Joshua Kemei, was Kiptum’s coach.

The AIU announced its partnership with the Abbott World Marathon Majors last month to fund an intelligence-driven testing program to get hold of drug cheats before participating at the six major marathons.

Kenya-born Kirwa, who has been issued a notice of allegation, has not competed since the 2017 IAAF World Championships marathon when she finished sixth.

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