4th March 2021

Jepkosgei Decision underlines inequity of anti-doping sanctions

Nelly Jepkosgei has been sanctioned with a three year ban for tampering with doping control procedures. The Bahraini athlete, who was born in Kenya and lives there, initially claimed that the reason for a Missed Test on 18 March last year was a car crash involving her sister. She provided a Discharge Summary from a local hospital in order to support her claim.

However, enquiries by Anti-Doping Kenya (ADAK) with the local police and the hospital confirmed not only had no accident involving Jepkosgei’s sister occurred on 18 March 2020, but the Discharge Summary document was a forgery. When confronted with such evidence by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the 800m runner confessed.

Jepkosgei is a member of the World Athletics Registered Testing Pool (RTP). The story about a car crash involving her sister was a complete fabrication, supported by forged documentation. Her punishment? A three year ban expiring on 2 February 2024. The full Decision is below (or click here).

Mark Dry is not a member of a RTP. The British Hammer Thrower didn’t forge any documents to explain a 15 October 2018 Missed Test, but initially told UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) he had gone fishing. After UKAD informed him there would be no consequences for a Domestic Testing Pool (DTP) filing failure, he admitted lying about his fishing trip. His punishment? A four year ban for tampering, the same offence with which Jepkosgei was charged. You can read more about his case here.

Despite being told there would be no consequences for his filing failure, Dry has received the same sanction as somebody who intentionally injected EPO. Jepkosgei has received a lesser ban, despite forging documentation in a deliberate attempt to subvert doping control procedures, which she only confessed to after being confronted with proof of her forgery. It would appear that in anti-doping jurisprudence, the playing field is far from level.

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