Nairobi, October 11: Kenya's marathon runner Samuel Kalalei, who won the 2017 Athens marathon, has been banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for four years after testing positive for blood-booster EPO.
Kalalei's urine sample, which was collected after the Rotterdam Marathon in April, had returned positive for EPO.
The 23-year-old was provisionally suspended by AIU, the independent agency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on June 4.
The AIU said that all of Kalalei's results since that event in the Netherlands would now stand disqualified. Kalalei had set a personal best time of two hours 10 minutes and 44 seconds to finish in seventh place.
Kenya's reputation as a dominant force in global middle and long-distance running has been tarnished in recent years by doping cases among their elite athletes.
SAMUEL KALALEI , a marathon runner who won the Athens marathon last November tests positive for blood-booster EPO, banned for four years. pic.twitter.com/wgBTLGoGUp— Kenya News Alert (@KenyaBreaknNews) October 11, 2018
Earlier this year, the AIU handed four-year doping bans to Kenyan long distance runners Eliud Magut and Suleiman Kipses Simotwo. Both had tested positive for Norandrosterone, a metabolite of the prohibited Nandrolone.
A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report said that between 2004 and August 1, 2018, as many as 138 athletes from the east African nation had tested positive for prohibited substances, 113 of them during competitions.
Russia decision in December
Meanwhile IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that a decision on whether or not Russia will have their ban from international competition lifted "will probably" be made in December.
World athletics chief Sebastian Coe said that a decision on whether or not Russia will have their ban from international competition lifted "will probably" be made in December.— Sportpesa News (@SportpesaNews) October 11, 2018
Find out more: https://t.co/vLqI1svmHJpic.twitter.com/gSbDnrSP80
However Coe admitted that "we will have to wait and see" if WADA was right to lift its three-year ban on Russia's own anti-doping agency.
The ban was introduced in 2015 after Russia's ministry of sport and secret service were found guilty of masterminding institutional doping.
Now, the spotlight is on Coe to allow Russia back into international track and field competition when the IAAF Council meets in Monaco on December 4.
When asked if there will be a decision on reinstatement, 62-year-old said: "Yes there will be".
Coe had said following WADA's controversial decision to lift the ban that Russia needed to meet two pre-conditions to be allowed to return to international athletics competition.
Firstly, Russian authorities must acknowledge the findings of reports that sports ministry officials were implicated in the scheme to cover up the doping of Russian athletes.
And secondly Russian authorities must provide access to the data from testing of samples at the Moscow laboratory from 2011-2015, so that the AIU can determine whether the suspicious findings reported in the Moscow lab's database should be pursued.
(With Agency inputs).