It’s yet another blow for Kenya in the fight against doping as IAAF Athletics Unit (AIU) suspends 5,000m runner Cyrus Ruto for violating anti-doping rules.
The move comes ahead of the national relay trials set for Lornah Kiplagat Stadium near Iten tomorrow. IAAF World Relay Championships will get underway in Yokohama, Japan, on May 11-12.
It also comes even as Kenya remains on the IAAF watch list of nations. Through the AIU website and twitter handle, the anti-doping watchdog posted: “AIU confirms the provisional suspension against Ruto for violation of the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules.”
The Kaptagat-based Ruto shot to limelight after he was controversially dropped from 2016 Rio Olympics Games team and later made it to the 2017 World Athletics Championships team.
If sanctioned, Ruto will join the long list of banned athletes that include Rio 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, three-time Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo where she the course record of 2:18:57 before testing positive of erythropoietin (EPO) in 2014.
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Sarah Chepchirchir, the 2017 Tokyo Marathon winner was provisionally suspended by AIU for using an unnamed prohibited substance. Former Milano Marathon winner Lucy Kabuu is also serving a two-year ban.
Kipyegon Bett, the world 800m bronze medalist, is another top athlete on suspension for using EPO in an out-of-competition test last year.
Three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop remains suspended after his samples tested positive for EPO. Kiprop denied any wrongdoing.
Last month, Kiprop through his lawyer Katwa Kigen gave submissions to IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal in London.
In his submissions, lawyer Katwa Kigen claimed that tests on the samples yielded different results.