Tag Archives: EPO

Blessing Okagbare faces fresh four-year ban for doping violation

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, who was, at the weekend, banned for 10 years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics for doping offences, may be further punished by the body for more anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) following revelations in the ongoing case between the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Eric Lira.

The latest indictment could also see a Nigerian male sprinter getting a four-year ban alongside Okagbare.

On January 12, 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a press release concerning the filing of criminal charges publicly against Lira.

Those charges relate to the distribution of prohibited substances to two athletes for the purpose of cheating at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.

The FBI complaint sets out highly incriminating text and voice messages by ‘Athlete 1, who the AIU believes is Okagbare with a contact named “Eric Lira Doctor’ in 2020 and 2021.

The messages include Okagbare asking Lira for vials or doses of EPO and hGH and querying the quantity of drugs she would need for herself and ‘Athlete 2’ (believed to be a Nigerian male sprinter).

The messages also included Okagbare sending to Lira a list of drugs that she wanted, including hGH and EPO.

On June 13, 2021, Okagbare queried in a message sent to Lira whether she was safe to take a test following a particular dosage, and because she was not sure, she ‘just let them go so it will be a missed test.’

Following this revelation, World Athletics, on January 14, 2022, sent a notice of investigation letter to Okagbare concerning the potential ADRVs of Evading sample collection (Rule 2.3) and tampering (Rule 2.5).

The notice, according to World Athletics, was based on its assertion that Okagbare is “Athlete 1.”

The AIU is currently investigating these matters albeit Okagbare in her defence claimed she did not evade any test.

“As I had earlier responded to you on this issue, I did [sic] was in my room on June 13, 2021, and did not hear or see the DCO (Doping Control Officer). Though that I ensured that my phone was available in case there was a need to reach me on my mobile phone, I had no knowledge that the DCO was at my door on that day.

“On the demand to provide copies of messages referred to in the unsealed complaint against Lira, I did not have any such conversation or message with Lira at any time on or around June 13, 2021 to the best of my knowledge and do not have it on my phone,” Okagbare wrote in her defence.

She is liable to a further four-year ban if she is found guilty of violating Rule 2.3 or Rule 2.5.

source: guardian.ng

Blessing Okagbare : Hires lawyers to defend her doping case

The 2008 Beijing Silver Olympic medalist Blessing Okagbare, who two days ago was banned for 10 years by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for alleged multiple breaches of anti-doping rules, has hired lawyers who are studying the case for the next course of action.

Okagbare, through her Instagram social media handle @itsblessingokagbare on Saturday said,

“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel’s decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action which we will inform you soon,” she wrote.

The AIU, banned the athlete for use of prohibited substances and refusal to cooperate with the Unit’s investigation.

The 34 year-old was provisionally suspended on July 31, 2021, on the day she had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100m.

The AIU, on October. 7, 2021, issued charges against Okagbare in relation to separate disciplinary matters.

The first case was, for the presence and use of multiple (two) prohibited substances (human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) for which Ms Okagbare had been provisionally suspended on 31 July 2021.

The second offence was her refusal to co-operate with with the AIU’s investigation into her case which is against the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rule 12.

Second Russian banned for three years for doping offence

Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov has been banned for three years for doping offence by the World Triathlon.

Bryukhankov becomes the second Russian athlete after Igor Polyanskiy was also banned traces of Erythropoietin (EPO) were found in a sample from the Olympian. Now, the governing body has confirmed that the presence of EPO was also found in a sample from Bryukhankov taken in June’s Europe Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships. A statement on the World Triathlon website read:

“World Triathlon reported previously that a sample collected from Mr. Bryukhankov had returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for recombinant Erythropoietin (EPO) (S2. Peptide, Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics). “On 15 September World Triathlon notified the Athlete that it was charging Mr. Bryukhankov with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) because he did not exercise his right to the analysis of the B sample within the deadline provided.

“The athlete admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) in the 20 days after receiving notice of the charge and therefore he benefits from a reduction of one year in the presumptive four-year period of ineligibility. “World Triathlon hereby imposes a period of ineligibility of three years on Mr. Bryukhankov for the presence of EPO in his urine samples in contravention to Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules (ADR).

All the Athlete’s results and points earned since 19 June 2021 are to be disqualified with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.” Bryukhankov – who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and took European silver in triathlon in 2012 – cannot compete again until August 26, 2024.

Source: sportsmole.co.uk

Samuel Kalalei banned for four year for doping

The Athletics Integrity Unit has has banned the reigning Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei for four years after testing positive for blood-booster EPO.

Kalalei’s urine sample, which was collected after the Rotterdam Marathon in April, had returned positive for EPO.

The 23-year-old was provisionally suspended by AIU, the independent agency of world athletics ruling body IAAF, on June 4.

The AIU said that all of Kalalei’s results since that event in the Netherlands would now stand disqualified. Kalalei had set a personal best time of two hours 10 minutes and 44 seconds to finish in seventh place.

Kalalei is the third Kenyan athlete to receive a doping ban this year while four further cases are still pending.

They include former Olympic 1500m gold medallist and three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop, who was found to have traces of EPO after a test in November 2017.

In the same month, Rio 2016 Olympic women’s marathon gold medallist Jemima Sumgong received a four-year ban.

In September, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said Kenya had a “serious problem” with doping.

A Wada report said that between 2004 and 2018, more than 138 athletes from the east African nation have tested positive for prohibited substances, 113 of them during competitions.

ADAK Releases more names of Doping Athletes

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has released more names of athletes suspended for using performance enhancing banned substances as the doping menace monster rears its ugly head.

The ADAK CEO Jasper Rugut, said, that the naming and shaming of the dopers will continue in earnest once the athlete has been found culpable of being involved in  the vice.

The list that was released by ADAK includes Sally Chelagat Kipyego who was found with presence of 19-norandrone in an in competition test in March 29, 2017 at the Taihu International Marathon, in China and was given a ban for four year.

Another top notch athlete that the doping hammer has hit is Edwin Kipyego who in July 2012 depleted the British 10k course record that had been set by the Ethiopian legend Haile Gebreslassie.

Kipyego was found to have used prohibited substance Erythropoietin (EPO) and was given the full sentence of four years starting from July 2017 to July 2012.

Benjamin Ngadu tested positive for the prohibited substance19- norandrosterone (anabolic steroid) on 6 June 2015 at an IAAF-sanctioned Half-Marathon in Czech Republic. The athlete was subsequently charged and was given a four year ban.

Others are,Sarah Kibet , who was found with prohibited substance predinisone and Prednisolone and was banned for two years, Lazarus Too, presence of prohibited substance Furosemide also got two years.

Nelly Jepkurui Kibet, Presence of a prohibited substance Prednisolone listed as a prohibited substance under S9 of the 2016 WADA prohibited list one year eight months

“We are in the process of releasing further  fourteen names tonight and we will continue with this till vice stops, said Rugut.


Banned athlete-policeman Brendon Keenan wins Tauranga International Marathon.

He’s serving a four-year suspension from ‘all sport’, yet Rotorua policeman Brendon Keenan was still able to compete, and win his age-group title, in Saturday’s Tauranga International Marathon.

Keenan was handed the ban in July by the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand, after admitting to importing the drug Erythropoietin – more commonly known as EPO – which can be used to increase red blood cell production and is illegal under sport anti-doping rules.

The suspension was backdated to 7 September 2017 – the date he made the online purchase of the drug, which was eventually intercepted by Customs and later destroyed.

However, Keenan was still allowed to run in Saturday’s race, because it was not considered an Athletics New Zealand ‘authorised’ event, and was operated by an outside promoter – Total Sport.


Because the weekend’s race wasn’t an authorised Athletics New Zealand event, Brendon Keenan was allowed to compete.

Not that Drug Free Sport New Zealand and Athletics New Zealand were impressed with his presence.

Keenan, who was once a high-profile advocate of barefooted running, finished third in his age group of the New Zealand marathon champs in Rotorua in May, and on Saturday recorded a time of 02:58:19 in finishing ninth overall and first in the male 40-44 years section.

Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive Nick Paterson confirmed the technicalities around Keenan’s ban.

“It’s all organised sport carried out under the guise of the national sporting organisation. What it doesn’t include is social events.”

Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive Nick Paterson wants to see event promoters doing more to
keep races fully clean. Photo: STUFF
This was the first year the Tauranga event had been staged, and having the word ‘International’ in its title doesn’t exactly lend itself to the feeling of a mere fun run. The event’s website also states ‘it’s the first ever international marathon event to be held in New Zealand’s sunshine capital’.

When Stuff contacted Total Sport about their reasons for allowing Keenan to compete, event organiser Jules Harvey said:

“I need to get a bit more information about that. We’re just looking into it at the moment. We need to do a bit more investigation on those things, so I can’t really make any comments at this stage.”

Harvey then referred Stuff to Total Sport’s owner/director Aaron Carter, who didn’t respond to a message.

Athletics New Zealand chief executive Hamish Grey was able to confirm the event wasn’t sanctioned by his organisation, which he said left him in an unfortunate spot.

“If they’re not under the auspices of the bodies that he was banned from, then there’s nothing we can do, as much as we might like to,” he said.

“It’s disappointing, from Athletics New Zealand’s point of view, that he’s able to participate.

“It’s the principle here, isn’t it. Whether he actually ever got the product or used it is either here nor there, he’s admitted an offence, he’s serving a ban. My personal view is that that principle should apply across any athletic event.”


A former barefoot running advocate, Brendon Keenan won his age-group in the Tauranga race, in a time of 02:58:19.

Paterson also called into question the ethics of Keenan competing.

“My question is, if you’re the runner who came second in the age-group to Mr Keenan, how do you feel about it?”

Grey felt the issue highlighted that there was a wider discussion to be had in the athletics community about how they collectively work with these outside events, which he said were great for the sport. However, he noted his organisation’s resources would be stretched too thin to try and approach every single race organiser themselves.

“In the end, it’s over to each of the promoters, but we would welcome that dialogue.”

From Paterson’s perspective, he wants to see increased leadership on the part of promoters.

“What I’m really keen on is continuing the culture we’ve got in New Zealand, of really strong integrity in sport.

“I would like all races, at all levels, to be carried out by clean athletes. That’s my bottom line.

“We see other events which have an anti-doping policy as part of their rules and regulations. One good example would be the Tarawera Ultramarathon… Paul Charteris, the owner, he’s decided to put his stake in the sand.

“That’s a really solid stance. I’d like to see more races doing that.”

Keenan could not be reached by Stuff for comment.

Source: stuff.co.nz

Kenyan politician calls for report into progress of anti-doping law following positive tests

A Kenyan Member of Parliament has called for a report on the anti-doping law as the country attempts to tackle a crisis following several positive tests in athletics.

Kathuri Murungi, a Member of Parliament for South Imenti, claimed an audit should take place to assess the situation.

Kenya introduced criminal laws as part of an anti-doping act back in 2016.

This included the creation of a national testing authority, Anti-Doping Kenya, while it made doping an offence which could be punished by imprisonment.

Revised legislation was published later that year after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the country non-compliant.

The changes led to them being made complaint again in time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Murungi reportedly called for the Ministry of Sport to do more to help tackle the crisis, asserting that they and Athletics Kenya need to better assess coaches for their credibility.

He also called for new policies to be introduced to boost Kenya’s reputation following the positive tests.

“The WADA has been issuing incessant sanctions to Kenya for non-compliance and delays implementing the laws pose a threat to our social co-existence and integration globally,” Murungi said, according to All-Africa.

“There are allegations that banned substances are used by athletes in the training camps and this is blamed on both local and international trainers.”

Currently, 18 Kenyans are suspended for breaches of anti-doping rules by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

This includes world 800 metres bronze medallist Kipyegon Bett, who was last week confirmed to have tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo and Jemimah Sumgong, the Olympic marathon gold medallist at Rio 2016, are other high-profile Kenyan athletes who are currently serving suspensions for doping offences.

Reigning Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet, who now represents Bahrain but continues to train and live in Kenya where she was born, has also been suspended since February following an EPO failure.

A further four are provisionally suspended by the AIU, including Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei, distance runner Lucy Wangui Kabuu and sprinter Boniface Mweresa.

A case is also pending against three-time world champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist Asbel Kiprop after he tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) included the distance-running superpower on a list of nations most at risk of doping in July.

It came as part of new regulations by the IAAF Council which put more responsibility on National Federations to deal with the problem.

Kenya and Ethiopia were among four countries included in Category A – member federations the IAAF believe are most likely to have doping problems – along with Belarus, hosts of next year’s European Games, and Ukraine.

Athletics Kenya last week announced the establishment of an Oversight Committee as they seek to tackle the spate of doping cases involving their athletes.

There was a boost earlier this week when it was confirmed that a first East African WADA accredited laboratory had been approved.

Source: insidethegames.biz

Dope Cheat Busted: Vincent Kipchirir 4-Year Ban Upheld

The four-year ban for marathoner Vincent Chepsiror Kipchirir was upheld on Thursday night, becoming the latest Kenyan athlete to be caught in the web of a crisis that threatens to disparage the integrity of the respected distance running nation.

According to the latest sanctions for doping and non-doping violations released by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the 31 year-old Kipchirir failed an ‘in competition test’ at the Polokwane Mayors Marathon in South Africa on April 30, 2016.

He is banned from competition from November 12, 2016 until November 11, 2020 having been disqualified from running on the day of his infraction.

Kipchirir is largely unheralded in his nation, having made estimated earnings of USD20, 935 (KSh2.107m) from the sport according to the Association of Road Running Statisticians who credited him with 18 career wins largely from small races.

On the material day, Kipchirchir ran 2:23:02 for to cut the tape ahead of local favourite Maputo Lotendo (2:25:54) in first place but his subsequent suspension now sees him stripped of that title.

He ran his career best over the ultimate distance of 2:13:04 in Bonn, Germany in 2008.

Earlier this week, the AIU the independent body which is mandated by world governing body, the IAAF to take charge of the doping control process announced that the first World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab in East Africa would start operating in September.

Critical step 

The facility serving Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Eritrea is seen as a critical step towards fighting the vice that has spiked to endemic levels in the region particularly in the former nation where over 60 runners have fallen foul of doping violations.

While Kipchirchir’s bust will not set pulses racing, Kenyans are waiting in bated breath for the Disciplinary Tribunal hearing for Beijing 2008 Olympics and three-time men 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop.

AIU confirmed in May that the three-time World Cross champion had tested positive for banned blood booster, EPO and earlier this week, he posted a sordid video on social media featuring him in a compromising position with the wife of his friend and pacemaker, Andrew Rotich.

According to a flurry of social media posts between the erstwhile friends turned bitter love rivals traded accusations with Kiprop alleging Rotich set him up with the AIU, taking his revenge by exposing the affair with his wife.

Before that, Kiprop has strenuously protested his innocence and his hearing is set for London on September 25 having been provisionally suspended pertain to an out of competition test at his home in November last year.

World Championships men 800m bronze winner, Kipyegon Bett, 2006 Commonwealth women 10,000m champion, Lucy Wangui Kabuu and Samuel Kalalei are other Kenyan athletes charged alongside Kiprop in the last two months for dope-related offenses.

Bett faces two charges, finding of EPO in his system from a test conducted in June and evading Doping Control Officers twice.

AIU is also seeking to extend the four year ban meted on women’s Olympics marathon champion, Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong after accusing him of lying over the source of the EPO that saw her handed a four-year ban last year.

Source: sportpesanews.com


Kipyegon Bett will Loose World Championship Medal if confirmed positive

Reigning world 800m bronze medalist Kipyegon Bett is poised to loose his medal to Briton Kyle Langford in the championships held last year in England.

Bett, the former world under 20 800m champion has tested positive for the banned blood booster Erythropoeitin (EPO).

If his positive test is confirmed, Bett will join a growing list of Kenya athletes to have flouted anti-doping rules. The Milan marathon winner Lucy Kabuu tested positive for morphine earlier this month. Samuel Kalalei, the winner of Athens marathon last November, also tested positive for EPO on 4 June.

Kenyan-born Bahraini runner Ruth Jebet, the 2016 Rio Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, and former Olympic and three-times world 1,500m champion, Asbel Kiprop, were suspended after their samples tested positive for EPO in February.

Other previous high profile Kenyan athletes who failed dope tests are 2016 Olympics marathon winner Jemima Sumgong and former Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.

Kipyegon Bett tests positive for EPO

world 800m bronze medallist, Kipyegon Bett has tested positive for banned blood booster Erythropoeitin (EPO), Athletics Kenya officials said on Friday.

Athletics Kenya Executive member Barnabas Korir, said they had received notification from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Thursday that the 20-year-old had submitted a positive sample.

The AIU handles integrity and doping issues for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Should Bett’s B sample match his A sample, he will face a ban from the sport. He is already serving a provisional suspension for failing to submit to sample collection on August 15th.

“We had submitted defence for the case of ‘refusing or failing to submit to sample collection’ by today’s deadline. But last night, we received another notification about the new (EPO) case,” Korir explained.

“We have kicked off due process, accorded to every athlete as per the rules set by AIU. If the second test confirms the first one, then the athlete will have to face full consequences of the (anti-doping) law,” he said.

If his positive test is confirmed, Bett will join a growing list of Kenyan athletes to have flouted anti-doping rules. Milan Marathon winner Lucy Kabuu tested positive for morphine earlier this month. Samuel Kalalei, winner of Athens Marathon last November, also tested positive for EPO on June 4th.

Kenyan-born Bahraini runner Ruth Jebet, the 2016 Rio Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, and former Olympic and three-times world 1,500m champion, Asbel Kiprop, were suspended after their samples tested positive for EPO in February.

Other previous high profile Kenyan athletes who failed dope tests are 2016 Olympics marathon winner Jemima Sumgong and former Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.