On April 7, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended the 2022 world 3,000m steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto of Kazakhstan. Jeruto has been suspended for the use of an unidentified prohibited substance, according to the athlete’s biological passport (ABP) data.
The AIU has provisionally suspended Norah Jeruto (Kenya/Kazakhstan) for the use of a Prohibited Substance/Method (ABP).
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) April 7, 2023
Last July, Jeruto became the first Kazakhstan athlete to win gold at the World Athletics Championships, setting a new championship and national record of 8:53.02 in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase. She also won the 2021 Diamond League title in the same event.
Jeruto is suspended temporarily from participating in any competition prior to a final decision at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics anti-doping rules, or the Integrity Code of Conduct. If Jeruto’s provision suspension stands, she will be stripped of her world championship gold medal.
The purpose of analyzing an athlete’s ABP data is to monitor select biological parameters over time that may indirectly reveal the effects of doping. This approach allows the AIU to generate individual, longitudinal profiles for each athlete and to look for any fluctuations that may indicate that the athlete has been using performance-enhancing drugs.
The profile for each athlete is generated based on statistics that utilize data from previous (given) samples to predict the individual’s performance limits or range for future samples. According to the AIU, if any data from a test sample falls outside of the athlete’s range, it could be an indication of doping.
ABP data is usually used as evidence of doping during an anti-doping rule violation case.
Jeruto’s time of 8:53.02 is the third fastest women’s 3,000m steeplechase in history behind her former compatriot, world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech’s 8:44.32 from Monaco Diamond League in 2018.
The 27-year-old was born in Kenya, but switched allegiances to Kazakhstan before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in hopes of selection. She received citizenship in January 2022.