23rd April 2019

Asbel Kiprop fails to explain recombinant EPO in sample

Asbel Kiprop, Kenya’s Gold Medal winner in the 1,500m at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, has been sanctioned with a four year ban after failing to explain how recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) ended up in his sample. The full decision (PDF below) reveals that an assistant doping control officer (ADCO), Simon Karugu Mburu, was the only person to witness Kiprop’s provision of his urine sample on 27 November 2017. Mburu provided Kiprop with a day’s advance notice of tests on 22 and 27 November 2017, and on 24 January 2018, and Kiprop paid Mburu Ksh3,200 (€28) immediately after delivering the relevant sample.

The Sport Resolutions Panel dismissed Kirpop’s arguments that:

• the EPO in the sample was ‘natural’ due to training at altitude;
• medication on the doping control form (DCF), including Zithromax 500, Piriton and Panadol, was responsible for the adverse analytical finding (AAF – or positive test);
• the sample collection process was irregular and as a result, his AAF should be invalidated;
• the sample was spiked and/or contaminated;
• there had been an error in analysis.

The panel found that:

‘recombinant EPO and natural EPO have distinctively different glycosylation properties which result in differences in the electrical charge of the EPO molecules detectable by the analysing laboratory’;
• none of the medication suggested by the athlete contained EPO;
• the sample collection process was irregular in terms of the advance notice of tests, but that this did not affect the presence of EPO in the sample;
• it was ‘comfortably satisfied’ that the samples analysed were those of the athlete, and were uncontaminated;
• analysis was correctly performed under the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL).

Kiprop maintains his innocence (see below), however in the above decision he doesn’t dispute the finding that Mburu gave him a day’s advance notice about doping tests on three separate occasions. He also doesn’t dispute that he paid Mburu after the 27 November 2017 doping test, although he declined to fully explain the reasons why.

They Mocked Christ accused & judged him falsely.For sins he never commit.Happy Easter.

Posted by Asbel Kiprop on Friday, 19 April 2019

It would appear that Kiprop has failed to explain how the EPO ended up in his 27 November sample. Paul Scott, the DCO involved, did not witness Kiprop produce the sample. The only person that did was Mburu, who had given Kiprop advance notice of a 22 November test and the 27 November test in question, and to whom Kiprop inexplicably wired money using M-Pesa immediately after providing his 27 November sample.

The panel considered that there was no evidence that Mburu had set out to ‘inculpate’ Kiprop, nor that he was ‘exacting revenge for some shortfall in the payment made to him at 8.11am’. If Kiprop wishes to clear his name, then the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would be likely to require a full explanation of his relationship with Mburu.

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