ITEN (KEN): Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong from Kenya has had her doping ban doubled from four years to eight years, informs The Guardian. Sumgong tested positive for EPO in 2017 but her suspension was doubled by the IAAF after the AIU disciplinary tribunal ruled there was “compelling evidence” Sumgong had fabricated medical records, lied about being treated by an unqualified doctor and lied about her whereabouts. “We hope that it sends a message to dopers that the AIU has strong investigative capabilities and does not tolerate false evidence in doping cases. We also want to underline the vital support of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in pursuing this case. They are a valuable partner in the fight against doping in Kenya,” said Athletics Integrity Unit head Brett Clothier.
RunBlogRun opines: Bravo IAAF. While it has taken much time, the IAAF, WADA have taken a big step forwards. Jemima Sumgong tried to lie about her medical records, which compounded the issue. Truth is, in Kenya, women athletes are compromised more than men as doctors get to their husbands who put pressure on athletes to cheat. An eight year ban is draconian, just the type of punishment that will be written about in the media, and perhaps deter a young athlete from cheating. Issue is, unfortunately, athletes and their teams see this, at times as a pure business decision. Chances of getting caught, while bigger than before, still are not detering some knuckleheads.