June 18, 2024

Kenyan long-distance runner banned for six years by AIU, ordered to forfeit all titles and prizes

3 min read
Kenyan long-distance runner banned for six years by AIU, ordered to forfeit all titles and prizes

Rodgers Kwemoi Kenya's long-distance runner blames the Japan trip after being banned for six years by AIU over doping

Rodgers Kwemoi Kenya’s long-distance runner blames the Japan trip after being banned for six years by AIU over doping.

In a statement, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) cited 18 instances of blood doping; reviewed since July 2016. 

Kwemoi will now miss all local and international competitions including the chance to participate in the upcoming Olympics beginning on July 26, 2024. 

The 10,000-kilometre long-distance runner was invited for the First Hearing via video conference on January 11, 2024, to the explanation of the positive results of his biological passport.

An athlete’s Biological Passport is an electronic record that monitors selected biological variables over time that reveal the effects of doping.

Through his counsel, Kwemoi explained that he did not dope intentionally and the positive results were brought about by climate change during his short stay in Japan for the event in Doha.

“It was a result of natural variations due to the physiological responses influenced by the frequent changes in climate, altitude, and other environmental factors,” read part of Kwemoi’s explanation.

The AIU, however, pointed out that the claim did not explain the changes observed in all the samples collected.

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“While we acknowledge that altitude is a mild confounding factor of the passport, none of the specific explanations provided by the athlete can explain the severe abnormalities observed,” AIU’s expert panel indicated.

“Therefore, we confirm our previous opinion that a prohibited substance has likely been used and that it is doubtful that the passport is the result of any other cause.”

As a result, AIU directed Kwemoi to serve a six-year ban for violating the Anti-Doping Rules. The ban will end on August 7, 2029.

Further, the long-distance runner was ordered to forfeit all titles, awards, medals, points, prizes, and appearance money earned since July 18, 2016.

Kwemoi has participated in three events since 2016, earning a podium finish in Japan’s Open Event Athletics Championship on May 13, 2023.

He will also be required to pay Ksh389,445 to World Athletics for contravening the rules.

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