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Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo has had her two-year ban doubled after an IAAF appeal was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She became Kenya's first high-profile athlete to fail a test when she tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug EPO in 2014.

Jeptoo, 33, says she may have been prescribed banned substances at a local hospital after a road accident.

The ruling means she forfeits her 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathon titles.

She is now banned until 30 October 2018 and has also been fined 15,000 Swiss francs (£12,396) as a contribution to the IAAF's legal fees and expenses.

Kenya has been in the spotlight for the past two years after a German television programme claimed many athletes from the east African nation are doping.

Jeptoo, one of most successful runners in Kenyan history, was due to be crowned World Marathon Major Champion for 2014 but the ceremony was called off soon after news of her failed test - BBC

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Kenya’s world champion Peres Jepchirchir kept her stellar 2016 momentum alive with a convincing victory at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (23).

The 23-year-old set a new course record of 1:07:09, well ahead of the sensation of the year Viola Jepchumba, who clocked 1:08:23.

On the men’s side their Kenyan compatriot Stephen Kosgei Kibet grabbed a fine win in 59:27 while unheralded Moroccan Mustapha El Aziz finished runner-up three seconds behind.

Expectations were indeed higher in both categories but ultimately the temperature was higher than expected, 20ºC at the start and reaching 22ºC at the finish, which clearly hampered the athletes’ efforts.


After Saturday’s technical meeting, the women’s event was billed as a serious attack on Florence Kiplagat’s world record of 1:05:09 set in Barcelona last year. Towards that end, Spaniard Marc Roig was enlisted to pace Jepchumba and Jepchirchir at a steady 3:05 per kilometre.

However, as in her fast outings in Prague over 10km and half marathon, Jepchumba decided to follow the pace dictated by her husband, a tempo significantly faster than Roig’s. She cruised through the first five kilometres in 15:20, some 11 seconds ahead of Kiplagat’s record opening split, with Jepchirchir, choosing to stick on Roig’s shoulder, coming through in 15:25.

Jepchumba reached 10 kilometres in 30:57, still five seconds inside the record, with Jepchirchir trailing six seconds behind. That pace proved too aggressive as the second half began.

Jepchirchir overtook Jepchumba in the 12th kilometre, and reached the 15-kilometre marker in 47:01; Jepchumba, reportedly suffering problems in her right foot, fell back drastically, reaching 15 kilometres in 47:21 for a sluggish 16:24 five kilometre split.

Once the pacesetter dropped out, Jepchirchir was largely on her own to the finish, lopping 25 seconds from the course record set last year.

A faltering Jepchumba had to settle for the runner-up spot in 1:08:23 on the day of her 26th birthday. Rose Chelimo of Bahrain was third in 1:09:36.

“I’m satisfied with my win and the pacemaker’s work, I suffered a bit when I had to perform by myself,” said Jepchirchir, who raced just two weeks after an another half marathon win in Eldoret, Kenya. “The last kilometres were tough for me but I managed a course record which makes me very happy.”


The men’s race kicked-off at a steady 2:48 per kilometre pace powered by a group of three pacemakers headed by Edwin Rotich who went through the first five kilometre check point in 14:01. Ten athletes remained in the leading group but surprisingly defending champion Abraham Cheroben seemed to be in trouble while world 10km and 15km record holder Leonard Komon was never a factor. Among the favourites, it was Stephen Kibet who was the most active.

The rhythm remained unchanged at 10 kilometres, covered in 28:03, but with the lead group whittled down to six: the Kenyan quartet of Kibet, Edwin Rotich, Geoffrey Yegon and Solomon Kirwa Yego and the Moroccan pair of El Aziz and Mourad Marofit. Yego was the first to drift back as the leaders approached 15 kilometres, where the 42:20 split suggested that a sub-59 run was out of reach.

A key movement came with the clock reading 50 minutes when Kibet unleashed a powerful kick to leave all but El Aziz, who arrived with a 1:00:39 career best, behind. The closing stages remained exciting with El Aziz fighting on. 

Ultimately Kibet kept El Aziz at bay to cross the finish line in 59:27 to win by three seconds. Rotich and Marofit fought fiercely for the third podium spot with the Kenyan prevailing in 59:33 to the Moroccan’s 59:34, a massive improvement on his 1:01:43 previous best from 2006. Geoffrey Yegon was fifth in 59:46, a record for sub-60-minute performances at this event.

“I felt really strong throughout, I was aiming for a faster time but it was not finally possible,” Kibet said. “So I would like to comeback next year and get it.”

Defending champion Abraham Cheroben of Bahrain was a distant ninth in 1:01:56 - IAAF

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The athletics circles is struggling to come to terms with the news that 2014 Africa Youth Games silver medalist, Ian Mutuku collapsed and passed on at a hospital in Machakos, Monday (24).

The 19-year-old finished fourth at both the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine and 2014 Olympics Youth Games and was seen as a future prospect for the country in the lap-race.

According to his coach Peter Muia, the 2013 national youth champion checked himself into Machakos Level 5 Hospital on Friday with a swollen body.

Incidentally, his young wife and toddler son were also admitted at the same hospital. Mutuku died moments after he rose from his bed to go over to the pediatric ward to visit his young one. Doctors’ suspected he succumbed from complications on a kidney problem.

Muia said: “When I left the Madoka Half Marathon, I came to visit him on Sunday and he was very healthy although his feet were swollen. He had been admitted together with the wife who was with their toddler in another ward.

“At around 8am in the morning (Monday) he had difficulties in breathing and after removing his oxygen mask, he woke up to go visit his child, it was as if he knew his end was near."

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World Javelin champion, Julius Yego cheated death when his week-old vehicle collided with a trailer on Sunday, October 23, night, but he says he is doing well.

The African champion was rushed to Eldoret’s Mediheal Hospital following the accident that that had his vehicle wrought off before he could enjoy its comfort.

The Olympic silver medalist took to social media to break the saddening but relieving news.

“I would have been past tense, there is this guy who was driving a trailer and he suddenly made a U-turn in the middle of the road. I slammed so hard on the brakes and I thought I had broken my leg.

“There was no way I could avoid him, I only picked the car last week and if it was a small vehicle, then there is no telling what would have happened but I’m fine,” Yego, who was greatful to God after surviving the near-death experience said.

Yego was driving a Toyota Prado 4×4 vehicle on Kapsoya road at the time of the accident and he took to his Facebook wall to express gratitude he had lived to see another day.

“God is living and great!am ok my people ! Can’t believe am alive!@mungu yupo (God exists)!!am in stable condition!” Yego posted.

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World javelin champion, Julius Yego, says he is ready to get back into full gear training after he was discharged from hospital following a freak road accident his was involved in on Sunday, October 23.

The Olympic silver medalist sustained minor injuries during the incident that left his week-old Toyota Prado car in a total mess as he was rushed to Eldoret Mediheal Hospital.

Yego, discharged on Monday, was left in tears as he recounted the incident that almost brought his bright career to a crushing end.

“I want to say thank you and be blessed for the continued messages of support and encouragement. I love you all and will continue with (my) sports career as usual, my training will go on because I am okay and the doctor gave me an okay,” the relieved ‘YouTube’ athlete said on his Facebook page.

Doctors attending to the 27-year-old two-time African javelin champion confirmed that he suffered minor bruises around his chest, legs and neck, but nothing serious to keep him away from the sport he loves.

Yego is the reigning world champion and the first Kenyan to win a World Championships gold medal in a field event.

He won silver with a throw of 88.24 m at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, despite only throwing once after picking up a right ankle injury.

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Kenya's Rio 2016 Olympic champions, David Rudisha, Eliud Kipchoge, Conseslus Kipruto and Vivian Cheruiyot are among 20 athletes who have been nominated for the 206 World Athlete of the Year Award.

Rudisha (800m), Kipchoge (marathon), Kipruto (3000m steeplechase) and Cheruiyot (5000m) delivered four of Kenya's 6 gold medals at the summer Olympics in Brazil.

Rudisha, Kipchoge and Kipruto will come up against 8 other athletes in the men's category including the world's fastest man Usain Bolt and South Africa's 400m star Wayde van Niekerk.

Cheruiyot, the only Kenyan in the women's field of 10 nominees will be hoping to beat the likes of Kenyan-turned-Bahranian Ruth Chebet as well as 10,000m record holder, Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana.

This week marks the opening of the voting process for the 2016 World Athletes of the Year ahead of the IAAF Awards Night in Monaco on Friday 2 December 2016.

The IAAF confirmed a list of 10 men and 10 women nominees who were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF.

The nominees for 2016 World Athlete of the Year are:

Usain Bolt (JAM)
Thiago Braz da Silva (BRA)
Ashton Eaton (USA)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)
Conselsus Kipruto (KEN)
Omar McLeod (JAM)
David Rudisha (KEN)
Christian Taylor (USA)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

Almaz Ayana (ETH)
Ruth Beitia (ESP)
Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)
Kendra Harrison (USA)
Caterine Ibarguen (COL)
Ruth Jebet (BRN)
Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
Caster Semenya (RSA)
Elaine Thompson (JAM)
Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family (IAAF member federations, IAAF Committee members, IAAF meeting directors, IAAF athlete ambassadors, athletes’ representatives, top athletes, members of the international press, IAAF staff members and the IAAF’s official partners) will cast their votes by email.

Fans can vote online via the IAAF's social media platforms. The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.

Voting closes on 1 November. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Awards Night.

Also Read: Cheruiyot - Stopping Ayana was Overdue

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