Kenyan long-distance runner handed 10-year doping ban after forging hospital documents

ATHLETICS Kenyan long-distance runner handed 10-year doping ban after forging hospital documents

Joel Omotto 18:00 - 16.10.2023

Kenyan marathoner Titus Ekiru will serve a hefty 10-year ban after being found guilty of forging hospital documents to cover up positive tests of banned substances

Kenyan marathoner Titus Ekiru has been handed a 10-year doping ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after being found to have forged hospital documents, following two positive tests in two separate urine samples.

Ekiru had been provisionally suspended by the AIU as it waited for his response on the charges leveled against him, and it is during this period that he made matters worse.

The runner colluded with a doctor at the Nandi County Hospital and forged documents and the patient registry as he tried to justify injections he received, according to the AIU.

After duel diligence, the forgery was unearthed, and Ekiru was further charged with tampering.

AIU says documents from the hospital showed discrepancies in Ekiru’s defence which claimed the injections he received stemmed from prescribed medications for injury treatment.

“Ekiru tested positive twice for the Presence of Prohibited Substances, or their metabolites or markers, in his in-competition urine samples at marathons which he won in 2021: the Generali Milano Marathon on May 16, 2021 (triamcinolone acetonide) and the Abu Dhabi Marathon on November 26, 2021 (pethidine and its marker norpethidine),” said AIU in part of its ruling.

“In addition to the ban, which runs from June 28, 2022 (the date of Ekiru’s provisional suspension) until June June 27, 2032, Ekiru’s results on and since May 16, 2021 have been disqualified, resulting in the forfeiture of all prizes and money. Ekiru’s victory in the Generali Milano Marathon would have made him the sixth-fastest marathoner of all-time.

“In July 2023, he was charged with two counts of the Presence of a Prohibited Substance, as per Rule 2.1 of the of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), and two counts of Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control (ADR Rule 2.5). Initally, Ekiru signalled his intention to contest the charges.

“However, faced with substantial evidence against him, the Kenyan athlete decided that he no longer wanted to pursue the case.”

The doctor claimed Ekiru’s visits were unrecorded by the hospital as “the athlete had attended early in the morning, before the registration offices had opened”.

However, hospital documents obtained by AIU revealed that the outpatient number was not issued to Ekiru until June 16, 2021; the one occasion on which the hospital confirmed his attendance as an outpatient.