NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, has asked for a B test after failing an out-of-competition doping test in September, officials said on Tuesday.
Jeptoo met Kenyan athletics chiefs who informed her that she had been provisionally suspended from competition.
Jeptoo told reporters last week that the accusation was false and requested to exercise her right to order testing of a B sample.
David Okeyo, Athletics Kenya’s (AK) senior vice president, said Jeptoo had discussed her defense with the country’s top athletics body during the meeting.
“We took her through the defense procedure as per the IAAF rules. She also requested that further test be performed,” Okeyo told reporters.
“As at now, she is provisionally suspended from competition as she goes through the procedure. That is the standard procedure. But that does not mean she has been sanctioned. We will discuss the rest after the B sample has been tested.”
Jeptoo, who had been due to be crowned the world marathon majors (WMM) women’s champion in New York on Sunday following her back-to-back wins in Boston and Chicago, declined to talk to reporters.
“Nothing” is all she said when asked for a comment.
WMM, which organizes races in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York, postponed the awards ceremony and said it was disappointed by Jeptoo’s failed doping test.
AK announced last week that Jeptoo’s A sample indicated the presence of prohibited substances. Documents seen by Reuters confirmed the substance was Erythropoeitin, a hormone growth substance prohibited by the sport’s world governing body.
The documents stated that Jeptoo had until Tuesday to decide whether to have her B sample tested. It was not clear when the new test will be carried out.
At least 36 Kenyan athletes have failed dope tests in the past two years. Kenyan government officials have blamed the growing doping cases on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya’s failure to educate its athletes properly.
Writing by James Macharia, editing by Ed Osmond