The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has made a statement of intent in its war against doping by handing Kenya’s Salome Jerono Biwott an eight-year ban from all competition.
Biwott, who was first hit with a two-year ban in 2012 when she failed a drugs test after winning the 2012 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, is fresh from finishing second at the Sao Paulo International Marathon in 2:37;33 on April 7.
It was in Brazil that Biwott failed the anti-doping test after her urine sample tested positive for norandrosterone, a substance that is prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
“The AIU confirms that a period of ineligibility of eight years commencing on June 5, 2019 for the athlete’s second violation of the anti-doping regulation and disqualification of all results since April 7, 2019 with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money paid to her,” said the AIU in a statement on Thursday.
In her defense, which was rejected by AIU, Biwott had said she had received an injection of Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) two weeks prior to the race in Brazil. She also declined to request an analysis of the B Sample.
“The AIU informed Jerono that her explanation did not account for the presence of norandrosterone in her sample and charged her with committing a second Anti-Doping Rule Violation,” said AIU.
She now joins former Commonwealth 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui and Hamburg Marathon bronze medalist Jacob Kendagor, who have both been suspended for failing anti-doping tests.
The number of elite Kenyan athletes who have been reprimanded by the AIU for use of banned substances in the last three months alone now stands at six.
Others are world half marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum, Cyrus Rutto and Felix Kirwa.