2017 Valencia Marathon champion to compete in first marathon after doping ban

Inside the Games

ATHLETICS 2017 Valencia Marathon champion to compete in first marathon after doping ban

Abigael Wafula 06:32 - 26.01.2024

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion will be keen to make a comeback to winning ways this year after successfully serving his doping ban.

An estimated 13,000 runners from more than 70 countries have been confirmed for the Marrakech International Marathon (MIM), scheduled for Sunday, January 28.

Sammy Kitwara, a former World Half Marathon Championships bronze medallist will bid to make an impression in his first marathon after concluding his doping ban.

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion was banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) back in 2019 for the presence of Nanning Terbutaline, a drug used as a "reliever" inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms.

His positive test came from the Seul International Marathon in March 2019 where he took seventh place with 2:09:52. Kitwara said he took the drug without knowing it was banned by WADA. He had also failed to consult with a doctor to obtain a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).

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Kitwara will be joined by compatriot Nicholas Kirwa and the Kenyan duo will be up against top runners including Ethiopia’s Hiribo Shano Share and Omar Ait Chitachen.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohamed Knidiri, the Grand Atlas (AGA) and director of this international competition indicated that the marathon is organized under the high patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.

“Over the years, MIM has become a school for promoting and launching great champions of this discipline, who have left their mark on the international scene, particularly among Moroccan athletes.

“Thanks to upstream planning and operational management experienced in major competitions, the MIM aims not only to obtain the 11th place in the world obtained in 2013 but, even better, to become the essential international meeting for all the stars of this sporting discipline, like its glorious position in 2012 when it was the only marathon on the African continent qualified for the London Olympic Games,” he said.

He also hoped that this edition would be marked by the achievement of new records, particularly among the men.