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Athletics: Kenyans gang of drug cheats swell to 44

Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum has been handed a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit over an athlete biological passport (ABP) violation.

His ban has worsened the drug scandal rocking Kenyan athletics. The East African country now has a long list of 44 athletes currently suspended for doping offences.

Kiptum was provisionally suspended back in April, two days before he had been due to compete in the London Marathon.

The Kenyan had set a then half marathon world record of 58 minutes and 18 seconds in Valencia.

His time was five seconds better than the previous mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in Lisbon in 2010.

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Kiptum’s result in the Spanish city is among the results the Kenyan has seen disqualified, with all results dating back to October 13 in 2018 removed.

Other top Kenyan athletes banned include Jemima Sumgong, winner of Kenya’s first Olympic gold medal in the women’s marathon when she crossed the line first at Rio 2016, who tested positive for EPO.

Last year, three-time world champion and Olympic 1,500m gold medallist Asbel Kiprop tested positive for EPO and was also banned.

Between 2004 and August 2018, 138 Kenyan athletes tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to a World Anti-Doping Agency report published in September 2018.

The report concluded that anabolic steroid nandrolone, corticosteroids and EPO were the substances most used by Kenyan athletes.