January 08, 2015

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) Kenya's athletics federation will hold a hearing for Rita Jeptoo next Thursday, with the marathon runner ordered to attend along with two coaches and her agent as the East African country investigates its latest and possibly most damaging doping case.

Athletics Kenya said in a statement that its medical and anti-doping commission will conduct the hearing at the federation's headquarters in Nairobi.

''This will be like a court of law,'' AK President Isaiah Kiplagat told The Associated Press on Thursday. ''Everyone will be given a chance to state how they were involved in this unfortunate case. The reason we have Jeptoo, her manager (agent) and coach is because we want to know the truth.

''We have been doing this for all athletes we have punished for doping but the case of Jeptoo is the most high profile and we have gone public.''

Jeptoo, a three-time Boston Marathon winner and two-time Chicago Marathon champion, failed an out-of-competition doping test in Kenya in September. Weeks later she claimed her second straight title in Chicago.

She was set to be crowned winner of the World Marathon Majors series and earn $500,000 when it was revealed that she had failed the test. Her backup ''B'' sample also came back positive in tests last month at the World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Lausanne.

Two senior officials with Athletics Kenya said the 33-year-old Jeptoo tested positive for the blood booster EPO. Jeptoo faces a two-year ban and her case came with the country already under close scrutiny after a recent spike in doping cases.

In its statement, AK said it had also ''summoned'' coaches Claudio Berardelli and Noah Busienei, and Jeptoo's agent Federico Rosa to the Jan. 15 hearing.

Busienei, who is also Jeptoo's former partner, told Kenyan media that there were ''a lot of syringes and bottles'' in Jeptoo's house when they lived together, which she would use before and after training.

''He (Busienei) has come to us with a lot of information that we need him to say in front of everyone including documentation on the drugs involved,'' AK's Kiplagat said on Thursday.

Kenyan athletics officials have blamed foreign coaches and agents for many of the cases.

Kenya's doping problems were first highlighted in 2012 by German broadcaster ARD, which alleged there was widespread doping among Kenyan athletes, with EPO and other banned substances easily available at their popular high-altitude training bases.

The ARD allegations led to pressure from the World Anti-Doping Agency on Kenya to investigate, and a government-appointed commission reported last year that the country had no effective doping controls.

You May Like