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Mark Otieno suspended hours to 100m dash at Tokyo Olympics

ATHLETICS By Robin Toskin in Tokyo, Japan | July 31st 2021
Mark Otieno leading in the 100m men category during trials for the Tokyo Olympic games at Kasarani stadium, June 17, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya’s 100m sprinter Mark Otieno has been provisionally suspended just hours before he was to take to the track at the Tokyo Olympics.

Otieno returned adverse findings in his urine A sample for what officials here said is a banned substance called methasterone, an anabolic steroid.

The athlete, who holds a personal best of 10.05 seconds over the distance has denied any wrongdoing and has requested his B sample be tested.

Kenya’s Chef de Mission to the Tokyo Olympics Waithaka Kioni confirmed the athlete has been notified of the findings of his A sample.

“I hereby confirm that we have received communication this afternoon from International Testing Agency (ITA) regarding one of our sprinters who has had an Adverse analytical finding on a urine sample he provided on 28 July 28,"Kioni said.

“The sprinter had been residing in Kurume City for the Team Kenya Pre-Games Training Camp from July 15 until July 24 when he moved into the Olympic Village in Tokyo.”

Team Kenya Chef de Mission Waithaka Kioni [photo courtesy]

Kioni said the sprinter was fully aware of the communication and is in receipt of the letter from ITA.

“Our understanding is that this athlete is treated as innocent until we receive the results of his Sample B urine analysis.

“NOC Kenya and the Management of Team Kenya does not condone doping and will continue to partner with ADAK in the continuous provision of anti-doping education to all our athletes,” Kioni added.

He further said that the athlete is in the hands of Team Kenya psychologists at this hour of need.

“Such news can be devastating to any athlete. As Team Kenya, we have put a team of psychologists at his disposal. I can assure you he is in good care as he waits for sample B results,” Kioni said.

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