Kenyan marathon runner failed an out-of-competition doping test in September

Rita Jeptoo has been handed a two-year doping ban, Reuters reports.

The news agency said that Athletics Kenya (AK) had announced the news on Friday, with Jeptoo having failed an out-of-competition doping test in September.

The Boston and Chicago marathons winner failed an ‘A’ sample doping test during that out-of-competition testing in Kenya and the news of that was first broken by website RunBlogRun at the end of October.

Her ‘B’ sample also later tested positive.

News of Jeptoo’s failed test had led to the postponement of the awards ceremony for the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series, which should have taken place after its final race, the TCS New York City Marathon, on November 2. Jeptoo had been due to collect the women’s series prize, including a cheque for $500,000, after having secured her WMM series victory with a win in Chicago, which took place on October 12, after the out of competition test.

Reuters quoted AK chief executive Isaac Kamande as saying: “AK followed due process in her (Rita Jeptoo) matter and it was appropriate that she serves a two-year ban.” The news agency reported that Jeptoo could not be reached for comment on Friday.

A World Marathon Majors statement read: “Following the announcement made by Athletics Kenya (AK) after Rita Jeptoo’s positive drug test, the organisers of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) confirmed that the winner of the women’s World Marathon Majors 2013/2014 will not be announced until the completion of due process by the IAAF and the outcome of any appeal by Jeptoo.”

It continued to include a quote from Nick Bitel, general counsel for the WMM, who said: “WMM has held a firm stance against drug takers and cheats since its inception in 2006. We are aware of the positive A and B samples from Rita Jeptoo that were taken from out-of-competition testing in September 2014 that was funded by our organisation in partnership with the IAAF. However until the appeals process has run its course, we are unable to confirm our women’s series winner.”

The men’s 2013-14 World Marathon Majors series winner, Wilson Kipsang, is set to be presented with his award at the Virgin Money London Marathon in April.