Kenyan Rita Jeptoo once stood on top of the marathon world. Today her fall continued towards the bottom.
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Jeptoo is best known for winning the 2013 and 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathon titles. Her Boston result from 2014 (2:18:57) also stood as the course record. She was additionally declared the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors champion, a title that would have come with a $500,000 bonus.
However just a few weeks after running and winning the 2014 Chicago marathon, Jeptoo was found to have tested positive for EPO at an out-of-competitive drug test in September of 2014. A few months later she was given a two-year ban by Athletics Kenya–a sentence that was set to expire this week. Today, a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the appeal/challenge set forth by the IAAF and the original ban of two years was extended to four and will continue on through to October 2018.
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As a result, Jeptoo has also been officially stripped of her 2014 Boston and Chicago victories. Those races are now in the process of updating their results (and records), awarding prize money to new winners and possibly attempting to reclaim the money awarded to Jeptoo. In 2014, she was awarded $175,000 for finishing first as well as setting the course record.
If Jeptoo decides to return to the sport in two years she will then be 37 years old and would be highly unlikely to be invited to any events of prominence.