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Two Kenyan runners sanctioned for doping violations

21 March 2013, 18:07 Kimathi Kamau

Nairobi - Athletics Kenya (AK) confirmed on Wednesday that two more distance runners from the country have been sanctioned for doping violations, bringing to five the number of athletes handed competition bans in two months.

Salome Jerono Biwott, who won the women's race at the 2012 Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon in 2:26:41, and Jynocel Basweti Onyancha, who took part in the 23rd Marathon International De Cullacan in Mexico on Jan. 22, will serve a suspension of two years each.

"The Athletics Kenya has sanctioned the following athletes for two years for doping offences. Salome Jerono Biwott has been sanctioned with effect from January 25, 2013 until January 25, 2015," AK Secretary-General David Okeyo said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"Jynocel Basweti Onyancha who participated has been sanctioned with effect from July 5, 2012 until July 5, 2014. During the sanction period they will not be allowed to participate in any track and field including road races both locally and internationally."

Jerono won the Kassel and Helsinki marathons in May and August last year and these performances look set to be chalked off as well.

"We pushed the pace from the half way mark and when we got to 32km, I decided to pick up the pace again and I found out that I was running alone. I was not planning to break away from the field but when they slowed down, I took my chance," said Jerono, said after winning the Nairobi race on October 28 last year, a result that will now be stripped from her list of honours following her doping bust.

Basweti Onyancha is a relative unknown in a nation that produces the highest chunk of male marathon winners annually.

On Feb. 23, AK confirmed three other runners had been sanctioned for doping offenses as drug abuse among the country's distance runners continues to be under the spotlight.

Wilson Erupe Loyanae and Nixon Kiplagat Cherutich are serving a suspension of two years each with Moses Kiptoo Kurgat being sanctioned for a year after both A and B samples returned positive results for proscribed substance abuse.

Erupe tested positive for EPO, or erythropoietin, in an out-of- competition test conducted last year, the first Kenyan athlete to be caught using the banned drug hormone which increases the red blood cell count.

Kiplagat tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone, after competing in a race in Mexico.

Another, Francis Kibiwott, who represented the country at the 2007 World Half Marathon in Udine, Italy, finishing 45th, was pardoned after his case was positively reviewed by the medical commission of world body, IAAF.

- Xinhua


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