2014 Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold medalist Joyce Chepkirui has been slapped with a four-year ban.
The Kenyan long-distance runner has been banned for an athlete’s biological passport (ABP) violation.
Chepkirui, who also won the African 10,000m title in Marrakech in 2014, has been provisionally suspended since June 2019.
The decision was reached after an expert panel studied irregularities in blood samples collected by the World Athletics between 2016 and 2017.
The panel concluded the “likelihood of the abnormalities in results being due to blood manipulation was high.”
While giving an explanation, the 33-year-old said she suffered from vaginal bleeding and hormone imbalance, which resulted from the use of a contraceptive she injected every three months.
She also stated she had an iron-rich diet and took three drugs to treat these conditions.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) made the decision to ban the Kenyan after upholding an appeal filed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and her four-year ban period has been backdated to the start of her provisional suspension.
The consequence of Chepkirui’s ban means that her results between 6th April 2016 and 4th August 2017 – which include a third-place finish in the Boston Marathon in April 2016 – will be disqualified while also forfeiting her medals, prizes and appearance fees gotten during that time.
Meanwhile, Kenya still remains listed as a category A nation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This means that the East African nation remains a high risk for doping.
Consequently, Kenyan athletes will still have to pass through three out of competition tests within a 10-month period before an Olympic Games or a World Championships.