NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s athletics fans expressed shock and disappointment on
Friday after receiving news Olympic Marathon champion Jemima Sumgong had failed
an out of competition dope test in February.
David Leting, former head
coach of Kenya team, said the announcement will erase the gains made by the
country in the fight against doping, but asked the world to focus in breeding a
new crop of young athletes who will stay away from the vice.
"It is shocking.
"She has done well for the country and this will certainly smear us
"Kenya has done a lot to counter the vice and as long as these top athletes
continue to be influenced to use performance enhancement drugs, younger athletes
will follow suit," he said from Eldoret.
Sumgong, 32, had a very successful campaign in the 2016 season.
"She won the London Marathon in April before going on to claim the Rio
Olympics marathon crown, the one medal that had eluded Kenya for a long time.
Her win in Rio was spectacular as she had been obstructed by a protester on
her way to the finish line.
Already London marathon organisers have expressed their disappointment in her
action and struck her off the list of elite runners to compete in the event on
April 23 where she was to defend her crown.
"We are extremely disappointed to learn that Sumgong (Kenya) failed an out of
competition drugs test in February.
"She is currently suspended from competition pending the B test and the
outcome of the investigation.
Sumgong will therefore not run in London on April 23 to defend the title she
won last year.
She is currently the leader in the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Abbott WMM)
Series X standings which concludes in Boston on April 17.
Under Abbott WMM rules, if she were to finish top of the rankings at
conclusion of the Series, an athlete who fails a drug test and is banned is not
eligible to win the Series or to receive any prize money.
IAAF also confirmed Sumgong’s positive results.
"The IAAF can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning
Jemima Sumgong (Kenya) has commenced this week.
"The athlete tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) following a no-notice
test conducted by the IAAF in Kenya," IAAF said in a statement issued on
"This was part of an enhanced IAAF out-of-competition testing program
dedicated to elite marathon runners which is supported by the Abbott World
Marathon Majors group."