A dark cloud has been cast over the running world with three-time Boston marathon winner, Rita Jeptoo, being handed a two-year doping ban after testing positive for the blood-booster EPO. The 33-year-old will be suspended from all competition until 29 October 2016, missing both this year's world championships in Beijing and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Jeptoo has the right to appeal her sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The two-year ban is the maximum for a first violation specified by the old World Anti-Doping Agency code. The penalty in the new code which came into effect in January is double that.
Athletics Kenya president, Isaiah Kiplagat said: "For now, the case of Rita has come to a rest and what remains now for us it to move on. We shall see how we shall work with the new anti-doping agency of Kenya in partnership to deal with the vice."
Two-times women's marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat commented: "Her positive test has made it very difficult for us. We keep on being asked about doping every time we go to compete out there and I'm hoping her punishment will make others stop engaging in this bad thing."
The World Marathon Majors has the authority to demand repayment of Jeptoo's prize money but such action, along with the stripping of her titles, will remain on hold until the appeals process is exhausted.