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The monstrous face of doping which is threatening to bring down athletes and the athletics sport has reared its face again, this time on one of the world’s most revered stars.

Alberto Salazar, the coach of Britain’s two-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, has been caught in the midst of a doping scam where he is alleged to have doped Farah’s training partner and Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp from as early as the age of 16.

The revelations came in a Panorama documentary which claimed Rupp, 29, has been taking the banned anabolic steroid testosterone.

Steve Magness, who worked as an assistant to Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project in 2011, said he saw a document showing Rupp’s drug levels, which revealed the then-teenager was taking prohibited testosterone medication.

“When I saw that, I kind of jumped backwards,” Magness, a former athlete, said in the documentary.Testosterone is obviously banned… Everybody knew that. When I looked a little further, I saw it was all the way back in high school, and that was incredibly shocking,” he added.

The investigation by the Panorama programme centres on the Nike running camp in Portland, Oregon, where Salazar is the head coach.The documentary also features testimony from athletes and staff who worked with Salazar at the Oregon Project and who accuse him of facilitating the use of banned substances and illegal practices.

Rupp strongly denies the allegations in the documentary, saying: “I am completely against the use of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Farah, who won gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London 2012 Olympics, said “I have not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that I take a banned substance.”

Farah, 32, has worked with Salazar since 2011 while Rupp, who took silver behind the Somali-born athlete in the 10,000 metres at the 2012 Olympics, has been a member of Salazar’s stable for 14 years.

Both Salazar, an athletics great who won three successive New York marathons, and Rupp deny any wrongdoing, while there is no suggestion that Farah has broken doping rules.

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he World’s fastest marathoners, Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto, will spearhead the country’s quest to recapture the men’s marathon title at the Beijing World Marathon Championships set for August.

 

Kenya who lost the world title to Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich at the 2013 Moscow Championships, have fronted some of the best long distance athletes the country has to offer.

 

Kimetto, the world marathon record holder and Kipsang, the third fastest man in marathon history, were among those who made it to Athletics Kenya’s provisional list for the worlds. Although there was no place for London Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge whose camp reportedly opted out, the ‘backups’ that Kenya has is any country’s dream.

 

Kipsang, who finished second in London, said a chance to compete at the World Championships is too good to let pass. “To run in Beijing is no question, I want to be there. Looking at the team that has been selected, I can say it is very strong,” he said.

Kimetto, the only man to go under 2hours 2 minutes in the history of the competition says he is ready for revenge at the Championships in China. “My next move will be the World Championship. I am honoured to have been selected, my intention is to work hard to bring the top prize to Kenya,” he said.

 Others in the men’s list are reigning Paris Marathon champion Mark Korir, Hamburg champion Lucas Kimeli Rotich, Felix Kipchirchir Kiprotich, who finished second at Seoul Marathon and 2012 Rome Marathon winner Luka Lokobe Kanda.

 

Kenya surrendered the 2013 men’s top marathon award to Uganda’s Kiprotich. The best placed Kenyan was Peter Kimeli Some who finished 9th followed by Bernard Kipyego in 12th. Before then, the East Africans had dominated the previous three meetings, Abel Kirui winning the title back-to-back in 2009 and 2011 and Luke Kibet in 2007.

 

The women’s team will be led by two-time World Champion Edna Kiplagat, Jemimah Sumgong who finished second at last year’s New York City Marathon, Seoul International marathon champion Helah Kiprop, Visiline Jepkesho, who was placed third at Paris Marathon, and former Rotterdam Marathon champion Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong.

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Kenya’s Olympic Champion David Rudisha has been forced to withdraw from Sunday’s Birmingham Diamond League meeting due to fresh injury fears.

The 800m world record-holder pulled up a muscle injury a week ago in Ostrava but later expressed relief saying the injury was not as bad and he would be back soon. That injury ruled him out of Thursday’s Rome Diamond League meet but he had a slim chance of making it to the Birmingham leg.

“I’m very disappointed not to be able to run in Birmingham this weekend,” he said. “I enjoyed very much the meet last year and was looking forward to coming back,” added Rudisha who won last year’s Sainsbury Birmingham Grand Prix in 1:13.71, then a world leading time and personal best.

The 26-year-old is currently undergoing treatment in Europe and has his eyes set on Augusts’ IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Rudisha missed the 2013 Moscow spectacle due to a knee injury.

A total of 27 world gold medalists and 14 Olympic champions have confirmed participation in the Birmingham Grand Prix, the fifth meeting in the 14-event Diamond League series. 

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The story of Julius Kiplagat Yego has been told widely in both local and international press. The common denominator of his story is that of a young boy who gained interest in a sport not so popular in his country, watched some You Tube videos and, voila!, became an international star.

 

The ‘You Tube Man’, as he’s come to be known (he learnt javelin by watching You Tube videos of some of the greatest throwers such as triple Olympic Gold medalist Jan Zelezny and Beijing Olympics champion Andreas Thorkildsen), continues to stake his claim among the best of his generation.

 

On Tuesday night at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet, he smashed his javelin national record and personal best with an 86.88m throw.

 

After a foul first throw in Ostrava, Yego threw 72.87m on the second before shattering his previous personal best and national record mark of 85.40m on his third throw. The distance which was good enough to see him win the gold ahead of German Rohler Thomas and former World Champion, Finn Tero Pitkamaki.

 

The win was a feather in the cap for Yego who last year became the first Kenyan to win a Commonwealth title in a non-track event by claiming the javelin competition in Glasgow, Scotland. He also holds the distinguished record of being the first Kenyan to win javelin title at the All Africa Games which he achieved in 2011.

 

Yego was the only Kenyan among the 18 athletes who represent the country in Ostrava. David Rudisha failed to finish in the 600m after pulling up a muscle while Asbel Kiprop was beaten by Polish Marcin Lewandowski in the 1000m.

 

There was a special moment though for Carvin Nkanata, Kenya’s fast-rising sprinter. The US-born Kenyan lined up next to six-time Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt in the 200m.

 

He pulled off a reaction time of 0.197, 0.046 seconds faster than the Jamaican’s 0.243. However, Bolt dashed to the finish line stopping the clock in his seasonal best 20.13 while Nkanata was 5th in 20.97, 0.83 seconds outside his personal best.

 

Despite the lowly finish, the 24-year-old Africa Championships bronze medalist had much to celebrate.

 

“Today wasn’t my greatest race,” admitted Nkanata after the race. “But it was cool to compete against one of the best to ever do it (Usain Bolt),” he added.

 

 

Nkanata holds the Kenyan record over the 200m distance.

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Africa Javelin champion, Julius Yego, is targeting to make more history in the fourth and fifth IAAF Diamond League legs set for Rome and Birmingham respectively.

Speaking to Four4TwoMedia on Wednesday, the Kenya national record holder said he intends to assault his own record starting yet again starting with Rome on Thursday and Birmingham on Sunday.

“I am in good spirit and feel ready for something special. I want to do better than the previous outing,” said the father of one whose 86.88m throw at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet last week won him the title while also breaking his own 85.40m national record.

“I thank God for all he has enabled me to achieve. I know I can do better, the weather is also conducive here (in Rome),” he said.

The Commonwealth champion confided that his current run of good form is due to his decision to start training early.

Asked about his preparations for the World Championships which begin in Auguts 22 in Beijing, the CID officer said, “Of course my big target remains to get a podium finish at the World Championships.”

The ‘You Tube Man’ says his fourth place finish in Moscow, Russia two years ago has pushed him to target even higher going to Beijing in August then to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“My season since failing to get my first ever medal at the world stage has been on the upward trend, therefore I want to use the Diamond League meets to get myself in the best possible shape,” he said.

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