Former Marathon World Record Holder Wilson Kipsang Suspended for Anti-Doping Violation

Former world record holder Wilson Kipsang finishes the Berlin Marathon.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, the intelligence-driven testing program aimed at catching drug cheats in the sport, has announced former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang has been provisionally suspended for anti-doping testing whereabouts failures and tampering. A notice of the charge has been issued to Kipsang.

No specific details on the whereabouts failures or tampering have been disclosed yet.

His representatives issued the following statement:

"As the management of Mr Wilson Kipsang we have received the Notice of Charge regarding an alleged Anti-Doping Rule Violation by Wilson. It concerns alleged Whereabouts Failures (article 2.4) and alleged tampering or attempted tampering (article 2.5). At this point it is only an accusation. We emphasize that there is no case of use of doping. No prohibited substance was found. The accusation regarding alleged/attempted tampering (article 2.5) concerns an explanation that was given in the results management process regarding a possible Whereabouts Failure and does not concern tampering with a doping test itself. Pending the case and our own investigation we will not communicate anything more about it."

Kipsang, 37, is one of the most accomplished marathoners in history. He has won five World Marathon Majors, the 2012 Olympic bronze medal and broke the marathon world record with a 2:03:23 at the Berlin Marathon on September 29, 2013. He held it until his compatriot Dennis Kimetto broke it a year later in 2:02:57.

Kipsang is the only man in history to have defeated current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:39) at the marathon distance. Kipsang's personal best of 2:03:13 has him tied for the eighth-fastest man in history. No man has run more marathons under 2:04 than Kipsang.

He last competed at the 2019 London Marathon, where he finished 12th in 2:09:18.

Outside of the sport, Kipsang has been a prominent ambassador for Kenyan distance running and even made a run for a seat in the Kenyan Parliament. In recent years, he challenged Kenya's athletics governing body on its doping epidemic where dozens of athletes have been found guilty of cheating and top officials have been involved in embezzling money for coverups. In 2015, Kipsang said he believed 99% of Kenyan runners are clean.

Last month, Kipsang attended a conference in Eldoret, Kenya that was organized by the AIU.

Kipsang is the latest high profile Kenyan star tied to anti-doping violations. Last year, 1,500 meter Olympics gold medalist Asbel Kiprop was banned four years for testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in 2017. Kiprop has maintained his innocence despite the conclusions of the AIU and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.