Abraham Kiptum of Kenya set a new world record in the half-marathon with his 58:18 performance at the Valencia Half-Marathon in October 2018 that was broken by Geoffrey Kamworor at this year’s Copenhagen Half-Marathon. When Kiptum announced he would race the London Marathon in April, much was made of the fact that he’d been turned down by the Chicago Marathon despite having a personal best of 2:05. However the Athletics Integrity Unit announced on April 26, two days before the London Marathon, that Kiptum had been given a provisional suspension for a biological passport infraction, and today we learned that Kiptum has been served a four-year ban.
Too bad the punitive options aren’t more severe. The reactive element to this is not a deterrent BEFORE the crime. Athletes like this have to walk away from the sport – but can go back to their family, friends, home, business, farm, previous-life, without any scary consequence. https://t.co/deI1lWpNCN
— Tim Hutchings (@TimHutchings1) November 11, 2019
According to a report on cbc.ca, Kiptum’s results have been scrubbed dating back to October 13, 2018, and the ban is effective from that date.
The basis of the ban is irregularities in the athlete’s biological passport, which indicates a strong likelihood of blood doping with EPO, even taking into account that Kiptum was training at altitude at the time of testing (which may skew results).
Kiptum maintained throughout the process that he had never taken any prohibited substance and had never failed a test. He also asserted that he had donated blood, which could skew his results, around the time of one of his tests, but his arguments were found to be without merit.