Manangoi: I lost Sh60 million during my two-year doping ban

Former 1,500m world champion Elijah Manangoi in his farm in Ntulele in Narok County. [Courtesy]

Former 1,500m world champion Elijah Manangoi has completed a two-year ban that was imposed on him by the Athletics Integrity Unit for "whereabouts failures", which is a breach of World Athletics anti-doping regulations.

The disqualification from all competitions saw the the reigning Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion miss out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the two Diamond League seasons thus making him lose huge financial gains from titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance fees.

Former 1,500m world champion Elijah Manangoi in his farm in Ntulele in Narok County. [Courtesy]

"It's been like two years in prison for me, I was in total isolation. I had missed training with my colleagues that include Timothy Cheruiyot, the reigning world champion and Olympics 1500m silver medalist," said Manangoi, who also missed the 2019 season with a leg injury.

"I'm so excited to be back, I can't wait to race gain starting January. Of Course, I have lost a lot money in terms of contract, winning bonus and appearing fees. Considering I didn't compete in 2019 season due to a leg injury, so in total I have been away for three years. I can say I lost close to Sh60 million," he said.

The 28-year-old also said he has fully recovered from the nagging leg injury and he was in top shape and ready for the busy season.

"I am fully healed, I had enough time to recover during the two-year ban, I feel I'm ready to compete in the coming year. I hope to defend my Commonwealth Games title in July in Birmingham and also compete at the World Championships in Eugene in August, it's a busy season," Manangoi said.

Elijah Manangoi during training session at Gem International School in Rongai. [photo courtesy]

Away from athletics and being Chief Inspector of Police attached to Presidential Escort, Manangoi is a farmer practicing crop farming,  beef and dairy farming in Ntulele in Narok County.

"Ever since I became an elite athlete, I spend most of the time training and travelling, but the sanction meant I had enough time to attend to my businesses which includes farming," said the father of two.

He added: "From my experience during the ban, I would like to urge fellow athletes to closely observe the whereabouts rules as stipulated by World Athletics. Always ensure you filled in the whereabouts by yourself and don't entrust it with a third party."

Manangoi was among the high-profile Kenyan athletes to be banned for violation of anti-doping regulations.

2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop is serving a four-year ban.

Others include 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong and former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.

Kenya's race against time in readiness for 2027 Afcon
Gor, Rangers battle in top-of-the-table clash
SportPesa launches grassroots sports campaign
Omanyala's sprints into 60m semis at World Indoor Championships in Glasgow