Jemima Sumgong, the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic marathon gold when she triumphed at Rio in 2016, has failed an out-of-competition dope test, reports claimed in the morning of Friday April 7, 2017.
The 32-year-old tested positive for the banned substance EPO in a test by athletics governing body the IAAF.
“We can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning Jemima Sumgong (Kenya) has commenced this week,” the IAAF said in a statement.
“The athlete tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) following a no-notice test conducted in Kenya.
“This was part of an enhanced IAAF out-of-competition testing programme dedicated to elite marathon runners which is supported by the Abbott World Marathon Majors group.”
Before claims of a positive drugs test emerged, Sumgong said she was looking forward to returning to London to defend her title on April 23.
“London is the marathon every runner wants to win,” she said. “I can’t wait to return to defend my title.”
Earlier this year, Sumgong was one of a number of top Kenyan athletes who welcomed a new initiative to stop doping, which has tarnished their image, in which they agreed to be monitored by doctors appointed by the IAAF and Athletics Kenya.
Sumgong’s former training partner, the 2014 Chicago and Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, is serving a four-year ban after also testing positive for EPO.
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