The best woman in the 2016 Olympic marathon – Jemima Sumgong – has been handed a ban from competition over the next four years. She has also just been banned for life from the Abbott World Marathon Majors; the most prestigious 42.2K road events in the world.
The Kenyan athlete tested positive for EPO and explained her positive test as being a result of the medical treatment she was given for an ectopic pregnancy. That claim has just been rejected. The paperwork that she provided to validate her explanation has been deemed inauthentic.
EPO is a drug used by many in competitive endurance sports as it boost red blood cell production. It’s frequently found by elite cheaters in the sport and is one of the drugs found on the World Anti-Drug Agency (WADA) banned substances list.
The athlete was first suspended in April of this year. Furthermore, this is not her first time down this road: she also tested positive in 2012. This time around, news of the Kenyan’s positive sample came to light in April. The ban became official at the end of last month and is now back-dated to April. This means that if she was planning on adding a second Olympic gold to her collection, she won’t be able to do so in Tokyo.
Sumgong is also the first Kenyan woman to take home an Olympic gold medal from the event.