11 April 2016

Kenyans won races whilst banned for doping

Three Kenyans appear to have won races whilst banned for doping, it has emerged. Bernard Mwendia Muthoni took sixth place in the Melaka River International Marathon in Malaysia on 20 December 2015, as this certificate proves. However, Muthoni’s two-year ban following a positive test for norandrosterone doesn’t expire until November this year, as the IAAF’s list of athletes currently serving a sanction reveals. His ban was announced in the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) newsletter on 27 January 2015, along with bans imposed on seven other Kenyans.

One of these was Flomena Chepchirchir, who won the 2014 Macau Marathon during the period in which she was banned. According to this list of sanctions, Chepchirchir was serving a six-month ban from 6 September 2014 to 5 March 2015 at the time of the Marathon. However, Chepchirchir is still listed as the winner, taking first place ahead of fellow Kenyan Hellen Mugo. In her defence, Chepchirchir may not have known about her ban at the time of the Macau Marathon which took place in December 2014, before the IAAF published the sanctions on 27 January 2015. However, under IAAF protocol, her victory should have been annulled.

Benjamin Kirpop Serem took 50,000 Indian Rupees (€660) for winning the 2015 Calicut Mini-Marathon in India in March, despite serving a two-year ban which didn’t expire until 27 January this year, as outlined in this list of IAAF sanctions. Organisers of the student marathon told the Associated Press that they didn’t know that he was banned.

At a meeting last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gave Kenya until 2 May to bring itself into compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. ‘The Committee concluded that the current situation is not in compliance with the 2015 Code, since the Bill [Kenya’s anti-doping Bill], policy and ADAK [Anti-Doping Agency Kenya] rules have not yet been formally adopted’, read a statement.

Last week, the IAAF dismissed an appeal by Athletics Kenya CEO Isaac Mwangi against his provisional suspension for allegedly soliciting bribes from athletes accused of doping. Mwangi accused the IAAF of double standards, as IAAF President Sebastian Coe was not provisionally suspended after it appeared that he had given untrue evidence to the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee. Mwangi also pointed out that the Ethics Board did not suspend Nick Davies, who stepped aside pending an investigation into leaked emails in which he suggests delaying the announcement of Russian doping positives until after the Moscow 2013 World Championships. Mwangi pointed out that he has stepped aside and that Athletics Kenya are investigating the allegations.

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