Marathoner Endeshaw Negesse is the first of several Ethiopian athletes to reportedly have recently tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to Andrea Buongiovanni of the La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.
Negesse, 27, was the winner of the 2015 Tokyo Marathon and holds a personal best of 2:04:52 from the 2013 Dubai Marathon.
On Monday, Ethiopia’s anti-doping agency announced it is investigating nine runners, five of which are considered “top athletes,” for suspicious results in doping tests.
Abeba Aregawi, the 2013 world 1,500 meter champion, was born in Ethiopia and switched allegiances to Sweden in 2012. She tested positive for Meldoinium and has been suspended until the results of her B-sample are revealed. Meldoinium was not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency until Jan. 1.
Negessee also tested positive for Meldoinium, according to Buongiovanni. He was expected to compete at the 2016 London Marathon in April.