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Kenyan marathoner Titus Ekiru gets 10-year ban for doping

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has handed Kenyan elite marathoner Titus Ekiru a 10-year ban for doping with assistance from a high-ranking doctor at a Kenyan hospital.

In a statement, AIU Chair David Howman said the ban follows comprehensive investigations which revealed tampering by the 31-year-old athlete with an intention to obstruct the AIU’s probe into two Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs), using false/misleading information and documentation.

Ekiru tested positive twice for the Presence of Prohibited Substances, or their metabolites or markers, in his in-competition urine samples at marathons which he won in 2021.

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According to AIU, the athlete tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the Generali Milano Marathon on May 16, 2021, and later tested positive for pethidine and its marker norpethidine during the Abu Dhabi Marathon on November 21, 2021.

“The outcome in this case is testimony to the collaboration between the AIU and ADAK, but even more so to the important co-operation from the most senior medical official of the Nandi County Government who provided significant evidence needed to ascertain the truth in this case and uncover the complicity of a senior doctor working in one of the County hospitals,”AIU Chair David Howman said.

Ekiru’s suspension which took effect on June 2022 will be in force until June 2032. Due to the suspension, Ekiru’s results recorded since May 16, 2021 have been nullified, and subsequently the forfeiture of all prizes and money.

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His victory in the Generali Milano Marathon, which made him the sixth-fastest marathoner of all time, has also been nullified.

Ekiru’s fate was sealed by the testimony from Nandi County Director of Medical Services which solidified the case against him with a series of damning conclusions while also exposing the complicity of the senior doctor.

The Nandi County Director of Medical Services said Ekiru’s medical documents submitted to the AIU to explain his AAFs were forged and were inconsistent with the hospital records.

Following the revelations from the doctor, AIU has requested the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) to refer the conduct of the senior doctor to the criminal authorities in the country for further investigation.

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