In a ruling by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) released yesterday on its website, the findings indicate Jemimah Sumgong in her defense blamed her alleged ectopic pregnancy for the EPO substances found in her urine sample in the out of competition test by WADA officials.
In a lengthy 23 page ruling, ADAK gave out their reasons behind the suspension of the elite athlete Sumgong for a period of four years starting April of this year. The findings indicate that the defendant, on the 28th of February 2017, was engaged by International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) officers and urine sample collected which were split into two bottles samples ‘A’ and ‘B’.
The collected samples were sent to WADA accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Swizerland for analysing and testing. The tests came back positive and were communicated to Sumgong by Thomas Capdevielle, the IAAF Anti-Doping Administrator explaining to her the findings from her urine samples.
The 32 year-old responded by saying that she had visited Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on 23rd February after suffering from severe bleeding and an unnamed doctor had given her a blood transfusion as well as an un-identified medication. But Kenyatta National Hospital in a rejoinder said that such a delicate condition of ectopic pregnancy requires that a patient be admitted for at least four days for observation.
‘Ectopic pregnancy is a taboo in my community and that is why I did not tell my coach who is also my husband ( Noah Talam),’ she said. The hospital though provided irrefutable evidence stating that the documents Sumgong allegedly submitted through her lawyer Wahome Ngugi from the WM Njagi and Associates were not authentic since the hospital has a documentation system for handling their patients.
The record keeping requires that once a patient reports in the hospital, the patient must first be admitted in a serial register, upon discharge the patient is issued with a discharge summary indicating date of discharge, diagnosis, treatment prescribed and date for next appointment.
These documents were not provided by Jemima during the hearings.
Kenyatta National Hospital further stated that the EPO found in her urine sample cannot be explained as treatment for ectopic pregnancy which is not the standard practice of managing such conditions at the hospital.
The report continues to state rather damningly that the athlete who is an officer at the Kenya Defense Forces failed to go to the Memorial Forces hospital which was a short distance away from KNH hence casting doubts on her weak explanations.
It is clear that Sumgong has spun a web of lies to try and hide her guilt after being found guilty of using of banned substances to enhance her performance in races. For such an elite athlete it is unfortunate that being the role model she ought to be the young and upcoming athletes will either borrow a leaf from her book of doping. Or as this four year suspension indicates a deterrent for athletes that the path to glory on the track is long and arduous and it pays to play clean.
With this ruling by ADAK ignorance is no longer a defense, spurious sicknesses is no longer a defense and so isn’t misinformation. The rising cases of athletes choosing to use drug enhancement to boost their performances dents Kenya’s reputation as an athletics powerhouse.
The entire sports fraternity from Athletics Kenya, ADAK, Sports Disputes Tribunal, Ministry of Sports and all other stakeholders and even scribes who are tasked with informing the general public must ensure that athletes play clean.
We used to this not so long ago, we can continue doing it even into the future, we don’t need EPO’s to win, we only need to train hard, and win clean.
Please Download the FULL RULING HERE