The Kenyan marathoner likely faces a ban from competition and elimination of her recent results.
On Friday, Athletics Kenya announced that champion marathoner Rita Jeptoo’s “B” sample confirms a positive doping test for EPO that was first reported on Oct. 31.
Tests of the “B” sample were conducted between Wednesday and Friday at the World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to an Associated Press report. Friday’s announcement comes on the heels of another recent report exposing a widespread Russian doping scandal involving three-time Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova and top athletes from other Olympic sports. Athletics Kenya has suspended or banned 32 athletes for doping violations in the last five years, according to Isaiah Kiplagat, the federation’s president.
“If you compare that to athletes banned by other federations like Russia and China, we are nowhere,” Kiplagat told the AP on Friday.
Jeptoo, winner of the last two Boston and Chicago marathons, tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test in late September, just weeks before winning for the second straight year in the Windy City. Larry Eder of RunBlogRun first reported the adverse finding on Oct. 31 in New York City, just before Jeptoo was to claim the $500,000 prize as the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors champion.
In October, Jeptoo successfully defended her Chicago Marathon title, winning in 2:24:35. Earlier this year, she won her third Boston Marathon, clocking 2:18:57—a personal best and a course record by 1 minute and 46 seconds.
When asked if Jeptoo’s adverse “A” could have been a mistake, her Italian agent, Federico Rosa, told Competitor.com in November, “No. No. No. I didn’t think there was any mistake because that’s a very, very, very, delicate situation and I don’t trust much in mistakes on finding substance. When there’s a mistake, the “A” sample is slightly different from the “B” sample and it cannot be said it’s positive. I don’t remember there [ever] being a mistake, especially when they told me it was EPO.”