The doping menace: Kenyan-born Bahraini Kirwa handed four-year ban


2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's Marathon -Sambodromo - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ...
FILE: Jemima Sumgong (KEN) of Kenya and Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa of Bahraini(right)celebrate after the race REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

In Summary

  • Kenyan-born Bahraini long-distance runner Eunice Kirwa has been slapped with a four- year ban after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) during a doping control exercise in Kapsabet.
  • In a ruling rendered by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) today, Kirwa tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test held this year April 1, 2019 and was consequently handed a provisional suspension in May.

Kenyan-born Bahraini long-distance runner Eunice Kirwa has been slapped with a four- year ban after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) during a doping control exercise in Kapsabet.

In a ruling rendered by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) today, Kirwa tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test held this year April 1, 2019 and was consequently handed a provisional suspension in May.

“The athlete was requested to provide an explanation for the presence of EPO in the Sample and was afforded the opportunity to request analysis of the B Sample…,”AIU said in statement published today in its website.

It is stated that the athlete admitted to the offence but, in her defence, claimed that it was not an intentional act.

“…the Athlete provided her explanation for the IAAF in which she stated that she did not dope intentionally. She could only assume that the EPO entered her body through contamination during a caudal epidural injection she received on 29 March 2019…”

The Olympic silver medallist four-year ban has thus been backdated to May 7 and will also include disqualification of her results since April 1, 2019 with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.

If an appeal is filed against this decision by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) or the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), the Athlete will be entitled to exercise her right of cross-appeal.

Kirwa becomes the second Bahrain national to test positive for EPO after the Olympic Games 3000m steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet was suspended last year in February.

Similarly, Kirwa’s ban comes barely few months after Olympics marathon gold medalist Jemimah Sumgong was also handed an eight-year ban.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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