Jeptoo returns to training after serving four-year doping ban

Friday, February 14th, 2020 23:59 |
Former Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo.

Nairobi, Thursday

Disgraced former Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo now says naivety and ignorance were to blame for her failed doping test back in 2015.

The 38-year-old joins a ballooning list of athletes who are returning to the track after serving a mandatory four-year doping ban.

Jeptoo says her return to training is important to prove to others that they can rise from their challenges and live a positive life.

In 2015 September, Jeptoo became Kenya’s first high-profile athlete to fail a test when she tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs with her blood sample testing positive to EPO.

Jeptoo insisted that she must have consumed some prescribed banned substances at a local hospital after a road accident.

“I was naive and sick. I should have known better,” said Jeptoo on Wednesday.

“That mistake cost my career, I lost my manager and my husband disowned me. I was all alone with nobody to help. I advise the young athletes not to be swayed. It pays to run and win clean,” she added.

With Athletics Kenya (AK) disowning her, her manager Federico Rosa (Italy) cut all links and her husband Noah Busienei even testified against her.

So far, Kenya was ranked as the third country with most cheating cases in athletics with 41 athletes banned for doping in 2019.

Jeptoo says four or five years ago, most Kenyan athletes had little knowledge on doping matters. However, she warns the trend has changed and everyone culpable must carry their won cross.

“Today each athlete has been trained and mentored to know what medicine they take. Ultimately each athlete is responsible for what goes in their body,” added Jeptoo.

Jeptoo was initially handed a two-year ban but World Athletics appealed against it in 2016 and she was handed a four-year suspension.

Former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong and 2008 Olympic and three-times 1,500m world champion Asbel Kiprop are among those who have been sanctioned.


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