Jeptoo faces 3-month wait for ruling in doping case

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) Kenyan marathoner Rita Jeptoo will have to wait up to three more months to learn the outcome of the hearing into her positive doping test.

Athletics Kenya requested more time for further investigation after the three-time Boston Marathon champion and two-time Chicago Marathon winner appeared at a hearing Thursday. Jeptoo could face a ban of two or four years if found guilty of doping.

Jeptoo is the biggest name among several Kenyan athletes who have failed drug tests in recent years.

She tested positive for the blood-booster EPO in an out-of-competition test conducted last September before she went on to defend her Chicago title the following month. Both the ''A'' and ''B'' samples were positive.

Jeptoo's estranged partner, Noah Busiendich, Italian manager Federico Rosa and Italian coach Claudio Berardelli also appeared before the disciplinary commission.

''This is a confidential hearing so we may not be able to give a lot of information,'' Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangi said. ''We will be asking further direction from IAAF then we will communicate once we are through.

''This is an interesting case because, although the violation happened last year, World Anti-Doping Agency and IAAF amended their rules and it's for that reason that we need to consult before we can issue a sanction.''

Under the previous World Anti-Doping Code, the standard sanction for a serious doping offense was a two-year ban. The punishment has been doubled to four years under the new version of the code, which went into effect on Jan. 1.

Jeptoo remains suspended from competition until sanctions are formally handed down.

Mwangi said Jeptoo testified for more than two hours in what he termed ''a very productive hearing.''

''This case has not been concluded simply because there is a lot of information that has come in the hearing and we have to go back and consult,'' he said.

The 33-year-old Jeptoo looked down and made no comment to reporters as she entered and left the Athletics Kenya headquarters.

Jeptoo has already been denied her share of the $500,000 prize for winning the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors.

Rosa maintained his Rosa Associati firm had nothing to do with the athlete's use of EPO.

''I wanted to clear my company here,'' he said. ''Let the committee meet and make a statement but my relationship with Jeptoo ended the moment she tested positive. I have nothing to do with people who dope.''

Berardelli, the coach who has also handled world and Olympic champions, also distanced himself from Jeptoo.

''A lot of negative things have been told about me following something I had nothing to do with or knew, but I love Kenyan athletes and I will continue working with them,'' he said.

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