Marius Kipserem: Kenyan marathon runner gets three-year ban for use of EPO

Marius Kipserem wins the Rotterdam Marathon in 2019
Marius Kipserem is a two-time winner of the Rotterdam Marathon, and finished second in last year’s race

Kenyan marathon runner Marius Kipserem has been handed a three-year ban from athletics following a doping violation.

The presence of the prohibited substance recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) was found in a sample provided by the 34-year-old in August.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Kipserem had twice denied doping, before then admitting his guilt on 11 October.

A potential four-year sanction for the use of EPO was reduced by a year following his admission.

His ban has been backdated to 22 September, when Kipserem – a winner of the Rotterdam marathon in both 2016 and 2019 – was provisionally suspended.

His sole competitive result since his positive test, a sixth-placed finish at last month’s Sydney Marathon, has been disqualified and he will forfeit any prize money or appearance fee awarded.

EPO is a man-made version of natural erythropoietin and improves athletic performance by stimulating the production of more red blood cells.

Kenyan athletics has been rocked by a number of doping cases this year, with 16 athletes from the East African country being suspended by the AIU for a range of violations.

A further eight Kenyans have been provisionally suspended, with the outcomes of their cases pending.

Kenya was placed in the top category of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s compliance watch list in 2016.

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