NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan Olympic women marathon champion, Jemimah
Jelagat Sumgong has been banned from international competition for
four years by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).
Sumgong who became the first female athlete from Kenya to win the
marathon title at the Rio 2016 Summer Games, is disallowed to
compete from April 3 after her appeal following her positive test
for EPO was dismissed by the Sports Tribunal.
The Kenyan marathon star was suspended from defending her London
Marathon title in April when her A-Sample Sumgong tested positive
for the banned blood booster pending the results of her B-Sample
following an out of competition test conducted on February 28, 2017.
“The period of ineligibility (non-participation in both local and
international events) for the athlete shall be four years from April
3 pursuant to Article 10.2.1 and 10.11.2 of the ADR (Anti-Doping
Rules) and the WADA Code;
“The athlete shall bear the costs of this case; orders accordingly,”
the 23-page ruling the Sports Tribunal chaired by John Ohaga, read
Sumgong who won the London marathon last year before leading
neighbour and Kenyan born Bahraini athlete, Eunice Kirwa, to the
podium in Rio that summer, reserves the right to contest her ban
after becoming the second-high profile female marathoner after
ex-Boston and Chicago champion, Rita Jeptoo, to be banned for EPO.
“The right of appeal is provided for under Article 13.2.1 of the
WADA Code, Rule 42 of the IAAF Competition Rules and Article 13 of
ADR,” the ruling dated Oct. 31, 2017 added.
Last month, five Kenyan runners, Shieys Chepkosgei, Florence Chepsoi,
Joseph Kariuki Gitau, Sharon Ndinda Muli and Ken Kirui banned for
doping by ADAK.
Sumgong seeks reduced ban after
admitting to rEPO use
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Banned Kenyan female marathon Olympic champion
Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong attempted to seek a reduced two-year ban by
admitting to using prohibited substance, recombinant Erythropoietin
Kenya’s Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) that heard her petition to
reduce her international suspension from the sport however, rejected
her defence allowing the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) to slap
her with a four-year ban on Tuesday.
Sumgong was provisionally suspended from the sport on April 3
after her urine A-Sample collected at an out-of-competition test
conducted on Feb. 28 tested positive for the banned blood booster.
According to the 23-page ruling, the convicted 2016 London
Marathon winner claimed she was administered the drug after
consulting an unnamed doctor on Feb. 22, 2016, barely six days to
the test conducted by IAAF Anti-Doping Officers, at the Kenyatta
National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi.
"The Athlete responded to the Notice from the IAAF stating that
she had consulted an unnamed doctor at KNH on Feb. 23 last year for
severe bleeding resulting from previous night travel and that she
was given a blood transfusion in addition to other unknown
medication," the Tribunal ruling stated.
The management of KNH that is the biggest public referral
hospital in Kenya however, wrote to the SDT on Jun. 9, 2017 spelling
out Sumgong was never treated with rEPO.
"The purported use of Erythropoietin injection is not a standard
practice in the management of ectopic pregnancies at the facility
and there are no records of the Athlete receiving such injection at
the hospital for whatever ailment," the hospital submitted.
Her defence also argued the nature of her ailment "was considered
a taboo in her culture and that she feared if she had another
ectopic pregnancy it would leave her barren, make her dejected in
society and lead to her husband taking on another wife."
Retired athlete and husband, Noah Talam, was Sumgong’s coach with
the couple shockingly opting not to declare the said hospital visit
to KNH on the Doping Control Form dated Feb. 28 as the samples that
returned Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) being the presence of
prohibited substance rEPO were collected.
KNH however, acknowledged that Sumgong had visited the Accident
and Emergency unit on April 18 almost two months after being alerted
of her failed test to see a second opinion concerning treatment for
ectopic pregnancy in connection with a surgery that she underwent in
Rwanda in 2009.
"However, as this visit was not a medical emergency, the athlete
had been advised to seek a follow-up through the hospital’s
gynaecology outpatient clinic and had therefore, not been prescribed
any medication or undergone any procedure on this occasion.
"The hospital has no further record of the athlete attending the
facility," the verdict stated as the Tribunal ruled the Feb. 22
letter from KNH as fake.
Sumgong, who was cleared of another doping violation offence in
2012 following the intervention of world governing body IAAF, sought
a reduced ban after accepting her provisional suspension.
The Tribunal notes that the Respondent (Sumgong) after being
informed of the AAF waived her right to sample B testing since she
was of the opinion that both samples were from the same specimen.
"Further, the respondent did not contest the provisional
suspension and has not been engaged in any activity related to
athletics since the finding was communicated to her.
"However, these are not sufficient to qualify as ‘prompt
admission’," the Tribunal ruled in dismissing her application to
have a shorter ban.
Under Article 10.6.3 of Anti-Doping Rules ratified by the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, an athlete can be granted a
reduction on the four-year sanction down to a minimum of two years.
This is based on Prompt Admission if the anti-doping body, upon
approval of WADA depending on the seriousness of the violation and
the athletes’ or other people related to the violation degree of
In convicting her of the doping offence, SDT agreed with ADAK’s
lawyer, Erick Omariba, that having been spared sanctions in 2012,
Sumgong was well advised to avoid prohibited substance use.
Having finished second at the 2012 Boston Marathon, the Kenyan
star was cleared in September of that year, on appeal by the IAAF as
the local injection which she had received was permitted under the
governing body’s rules having tested positive banned substance
"He (Omariba) submitted in the light of this, the athlete was
aware of the issues of anti-doping and the likely consequences.
"Further.... the athlete has taken part in a number of high
profile races and accordingly, the ADRV (Anti-Doping Rules
Violation) would injure the reputation of the country and the
Athlete," SDT noted.
The fact that she was among the top athletes who attended an
Athletics Kenya (AK) anti-doping seminar in Eldoret where she was
pictured holding banners denouncing doping also countered against
This made her well informed on the perils of doping to the
reputation of Kenya and her profession as an elite athlete featuring
in big international races with the harsh scrutiny on her country
that is still under the IAAF doping watch list.
Sumgong became the second-high profile Kenyan female marathoner
after Rita Jeptoo, who is serving a four-year ban having originally
been recognised as a three-time Boston and two-time Chicago Marathon
champion, to be banned for rEPO use.
In October, five other Kenyan runners, Shieys Chepkosgei,
Florence Chepsoi, Joseph Kariuki Gitau, Sharon Ndinda Muli and Ken
Kirui banned for doping by ADAK.