Kenyan Runner Rhonex Kipruto Stripped Of World Record, Banned for Six Years In Doping Case

Kenyan Runner Rhonex Kipruto Stripped Of World Record, Banned for Six Years In Doping Case

Kenyan runner Rhonex Kipruto has been stripped of his world record in the men’s 10-kilometer road race and banned for six years due to a doping violation. A disciplinary panel found abnormalities in Kipruto’s blood samples, indicating a “deliberate and sophisticated doping regime” likely involving unknown third parties. At the time, Kipruto was aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The panel imposed a six-year ban due to “aggravating circumstances,” extending the standard four-year doping ban. As a result, Kipruto has been disqualified from all his results since September 2018, including a world championship bronze medal in the 10,000 meters from 2019 and his 10k road record from 2020.

Ethiopian runner Berihu Aregawi is set to inherit the 10k road record, with his time of 26 minutes and 33 seconds, nine seconds slower than Kipruto’s.

No banned substance was found in Kipruto’s system. The case was based on data from his biological passport, which tracks blood samples over time to detect irregularities indicative of blood doping. Kipruto’s defense attributed the abnormalities to illnesses, irregular training habits, and increased alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic, and disputed the validity of some blood samples.

A statement on Kipruto’s website, attributed to unnamed legal counsel, indicated he is considering an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The statement criticised the ruling for not considering crucial aspects of Kipruto’s health and circumstances.

The statement said, “Despite exhaustive efforts to present comprehensive medical evidence and expert testimonies, the ruling failed to consider crucial aspects of Rhonex’s health and circumstances.”

Melissa Enoch

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