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2017 London Marathon champion suspended for doping

The Athletics Integrity Unit suspended Daniel Wanjiru for an Athlete Biological Passport violation

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced today that Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya has been provisionally suspended for an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation. Wanjiru has a marathon PB of 2:05:21 from the 2016 when he won the Amsterdam Marathon. He also won the 2017 London Marathon, and in 2019 he came third at the Vitality Big Half Marathon in the U.K. Although he would be unable to compete now anyway due to global race cancellations, his suspension was put into effect immediately.

Athlete Biological Passport

Instead of detecting specific substances in doping tests, ABPs are used to monitor “biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping,” according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Every individual person is different, meaning everyone’s biological makeup and baseline will vary. The AIU says ABPs “compile a profile of blood parameters over a period of time that can be assessed as ‘normal'” for each individual athlete. Significant changes in an athlete’s passport could mean they’ve doped.

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Wanjiru’s response

After his suspension was made public, Wanjiru and his management team released a statement in which the runner defended himself and said he stands “for clean sports.”

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“This statement comes from the heart,” he wrote. “I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.” He also said he has been informed by specialists that “there can be hundreds of reasons found why [my haemoglobin] is fluctuating.”

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His team said they are looking into the case, and Wanjiru ended his statement by saying, “I have faith everything will be all right.” His suspension will remain in effect until further notice.