Rhonex Kipruto: 10km world record holder banned for six years due to doping violations

Rhonex Kipruto: 10km world record holder banned for six years due to doping violations

10km road race world record holder, Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto, has been handed a six-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit due to irregularities found in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) as a result of doping.

The 24-year-old, who is a World Championship 10,000 metres bronze medallist, will be banned until May 2029, having been suspended provisionally since May 11, 2023, as a result of violating anti-doping regulations.

The AIU’s Discplinary Tribunal ruled on Wednesday that Kipruto “was involved in a deliberate and sophisticated doping regime over a long period of time in order to artificially enhance his performance through doping.”

The ABP, which was introduced 15 years ago to fight against blood doping, is an electronic record that collects an athlete’s biological data over a period of time. If there is an unusual change in the athlete’s data, the officials are alerted, as the said athlete might be doping.

Subsequently, before a ruling is made regarding any abnormalities in an athlete’s ABP, expert testing is carried out by independent bodies, and for a case of blood doping to be further looked into, the three members of the committee must have unanimously agreed that doping was likely.

In Kipruto’s case, the Tribunal revealed that a number of irregularities discovered in his ABP could be traced back to important competitions, including the Valencia Half Marathon in 2020 and the Kenyan Olympic Trials in 2021.

Therefore, the Tribunal also ruled that the athlete’s races between September 2, 2018, and May 11, 2023 should all be disqualified. With this, he will be stripped of the record he set in Valencia in 2020, the 10,000 metres bronze medal he won at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, and the 10,000 metres victory in the 2019 Stockholm Diamond League, among many others.

The Tribunal turned down Kipruto’s defence as the Kenyan had denied the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) charge, stating that his ABP abnormalities “were due to multiple factors such as natural and specific characteristics of his body, various medical conditions, and health conditions.”

The AIU also added that its decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if Kipruto chooses to take that route.

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