Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei suspended for doping


Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei was suspended Friday after testing positive for doping at the 2021 race and could be stripped of the title.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced that Kipyokei failed a drug test administered following her win at the 2021 marathon.

She tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide, a therapeutic drug banned in-competition when administered orally, rectally and by any injectable route because of clear evidence that it acts as a performance enhancer, the AIU said.

Athletes may test positive for the drug if they show it was administered by a route other than oral, rectal, or injection.

Kipyokei allegedly attempted to rig the doping investigation by providing false documentation about her drug use.

If the Kenyan long-distance runner is proven to have taken the banned drug, she will be disqualified as a winner of the 125th Boston Marathon, the AIU said, and the $150,000 prize. Kipyokei is also threatened with a sports ban of at least four years.

The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement that it will readjust the race rankings and offer prize-giving adjustments to the top finishers of the 2021 marathon pending approval.

Diana Kipyokei holds a Boston Marathon champion’s trophy after winning in 2021.

Kipyokei won the Boston women’s race in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 45 seconds. She finished 24 seconds ahead of fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who won the 2017 Boston Marathon. If Kipyokei is disqualified, Kiplagat will claim her second Boston Marathon title.

“Kipyokei’s result at the 2021 Boston Marathon will be disqualified pending the completion of the appropriate athlete appeals process,” the BAA said. “The Boston Athletic Association supports strict anti-doping policies to ensure fair competition and clean sport.”

Another Kenyan runner, Betty Wilson Lempus, was also banned on Friday after testing positive for the same drug after winning the 2021 Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris. Lempus was also accused of rigging the AIU investigation by providing false documentation.

On Thursday, the AIU banned Kenyan runner Mark Kangogo for the presence of triamcinolone acetonide in his sample.

“The cases announced today are part of a recent trend in Kenyan athletics in relation to
Triamcinolone acetonide, banned in ten Kenyan athletes who tested positive for it
substance between 2021 and 2022,” the AIU said in a statement.

With postal wires

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