February 20, 2015

TOKYO (AP) Organizers of the World Marathon Majors series will increase drug-testing among elite runners.

The plan was announced Friday ahead of this weekend's Tokyo Marathon. Sunday's race is the first of six marathons in the global race series. The others are Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and New York.

Under the tougher measures, organizers will create a pool of championship-eligible runners who will undergo additional out-of-competition drug testing.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time Chicago Marathon champion, received a two-year doping ban last month after testing positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO.

The tougher measures are also a response to widespread doping in athletics and a cover-up by the authorities, most notably in Russia.

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