Olympic champion Sumgong banned for 8 years


Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong runs on her way to win the Women's Marathon during the ...
Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong runs on her way to win the Women's Marathon during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 14, 2016. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

In Summary

  • The IAAF dished out an unprecedented eight-year doping ban on Jemima Sumgong, dealing a fresh blow for the Olympic Marathon who is already serving a four-year period of ineligibility imposed on her in 2017
  • The athletics governing body announced it had doubled Sumgong's ban on Friday after she was found guilty of submitting 'false medical records to an anti-doping organisation' after failing a doping test

The 2016 Olympic Marathon champion Jemima Sumgong already had her reputation injured and now she may never run again.

The IAAF dished out an unprecedented eight-year doping ban on Sumgong, dealing a fresh blow for the 34-year-old who is already serving a four-year period of ineligibility imposed on her in 2017.

The athletics governing body announced it had doubled Sumgong’s ban on Friday after she was found guilty of submitting ‘false medical records to an anti-doping organisation’ after failing a doping test.

Sumgong had tested positive for recombinant erythropoietin (r-EPO) during an out-of-competition test conducted in 2017 in Kapsabet before she went on to provide fraudulent medical information during her first-instance disciplinary proceedings.

“The athlete has committed an Anti-Doping rule violation (ADRV) of tampering with any part of a Doping Control pursuant to article 2.5 ADR.

“That this ADRV constitutes the athlete’s second ADRV and therefore, a period of ineligiblity of eight years is imposed on the athlete.

‘Compelling Evidence’

“The decision may be appealed to the CAS,” the Athletics Integrity Unit, the body set up by IAAF as part of its efforts fight anti-doping and corruption, said in a statement published on Friday.

Sumgong was initially banned for four years by Kenya’s anti-doping agency (ADAK) in 2017 after testing positive for the banned blood-booster r-EPO.

Sumgong, who became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic marathon gold at the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, said she had been injected with EPO by an “impostor” during a doctors’ strike in Kenya.

That claim was rejected as “not authentic” by the disciplinary tribunal of international athletics’ governing body.

In a ruling dated Jan. 17, the tribunal said there was also “compelling evidence” Sumgong had falsified her medical records and lied about her whereabouts after the positive test for EPO.

Her actions constituted a second anti-doping offence of “tampering with a doping control” and merited the imposition of a second four-year sanction, the tribunal, chaired by Michael Beloff QC, said in its ruling.

Accordingly, Sumgong is now banned until is April 3, 2025, although she has the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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