World 10km record holder Rhonex Kipruto handed six-year doping ban

© Rhonex Kipruto Facebook

World 10km record holder Rhonex Kipruto handed six-year doping ban

Joel Omotto 19:16 - 05.06.2024

Rhonex Kipruto is the latest Kenyan athlete to be disgraced over doping as he has been handed a six-year suspension with his big achievements quashed.

Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto has been banned for six years over a doping offence, adding to the grim statistics for the country.

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) handed the punishment to the 24-year-old on Wednesday, meaning he will lose his 10 kilometres road race world record and a World Championships bronze medal.

Kipruto, who won the 10,000 metres bronze in the 2019 World Championships in Doha, had been provisionally suspended for an anti-doping violation in May last year and is now banned until May 2029.

Kipruto broke the 10km road race world record in 2020 in Valencia and won the 10,000 metres at the 2019 Stockholm Diamond League, achievements that are now null and void.

A Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that there were irregularities in Kipruto's Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), which shows discrepancies that can reveal the effects of doping.

"The Tribunal rejected Kipruto's defence, concluding the 'cause for the abnormalities in the ABP is more likely to be due to blood manipulation' such as through the use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rEPO)," AIU said its ruling, adding that there was no other plausible explanation for the abnormal values.

Kipruto had denied the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) charge but the panel said it was "comfortably satisfied" that the Kenyan was involved in a "deliberate and sophisticated doping regime over a long period of time".

Kipruto can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The disgraced long-distance athlete joins a long list of Kenyan runners who have been suspended over various doping offences.

His suspension comes just a day after the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya suspended 33 sportsmen and women for failing doping tests.