Rita Jeptoo is facing a lengthy ban from competitive racing after her ‘B’ sample tested positive for EPO. The announcement came from Athletics Kenya and arrives after it was revealed that a number of other athletes, including Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai, have failed drug tests.
Jeptoo had been due to pick up the World Marathon Majors title—and the accompanying cheque of $500,000—last month, yet the awards ceremony was cancelled in light of the positive test. Jeptoo contested the result and requested a B sample, which conducted as a safeguard against any irregularities with the A.
Following the initial ruling, Jeptoo’s estranged husband said that he believed the marathon runner had begun doping in 2011, shortly after her post-maternity comeback.
If upheld, the Kenyan runner will face at least a two-year ban from competition. Jeptoo, however, still has the option of making a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Over the past few years, Jeptoo has become the leading female marathon runner, winning in Boston on three occasions, including setting a course record of 2:18:57 in April.