Organisers confirm Sumgong will not defend London title


Jemimah Sumgong (left) holds her hear after her fall at Sunday's London Marathon. Compatriot Florence ...
Jemimah Sumgong (left) holds her hear after her fall at Sunday's London Marathon. Compatriot Florence Kiplagat who finished third is running alongside. PHOTO/LondonMarathon

Organisers of the Abbott World Marathon Majors have confirmed Jemimah Sumgong will not defend her London Marathon title that was due in a fortnight in the aftermath of a failed out-of-competition dope test.

World athletics governing body the IAAF reported Friday the Olympic 2016 marathon champion tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in a test conducted in Kenya and will now not compete at the United Kingdom capital on April 23.

The failed test for Sumgong who became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold in the marathon when she triumphed in Rio last year bears the consequential suspension from competition pending the B test and the outcome of the investigation.

In a statement, Nick Bitel the Chief Executive of London Marathon Events Limited said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ to learn of Sumgong’s failed test adding Sumgong’s provisional positive test came from one of the Abbott WMM-funded out of competition tests.

“She (Sumgong) is currently the leader in the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Abbott WMM) Series X standings which concludes in Boston on 17 April.

“Under Abbott WMM rules, if she were to finish top of the rankings at conclusion of the Series, an athlete who fails a drug test and is banned is not eligible to win the Series or to receive any prize money.

“We are determined to make marathon running a safe haven from doping. In addition to testing operated by the IAAF and national federations, the Abbott WMM has set up one of the largest private testing pool of athletes in sport, with the aim being to test 150 competitors out of competition a minimum of six times a year.

“London Marathon Events Ltd and AbbottWMM will continue to do everything we can to ensure cheats are caught and do not benefit from cheating. The London Marathon has always been at the forefront of the fight against doping. The race has a zero tolerance policy towards doping and athletes who are banned for a doping offence are banned for life from the event and any other race organised by London Marathon Events Ltd.

“In addition, London Marathon Events will take legal proceedings against athletes who have been disqualified from its events for failed tests if they do not repay money that they have received from the event.”

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Story By Bernard Ndong
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