Monaco. the kenyan Diana Kipyokeiwinner of the Boston Marathon, was suspended on Friday after testing positive for doping in the race and allegedly obstructing an investigation.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU, for its acronym in English) reported that Kipyokei’s sample after winning in October last year had traces of triamcinolone acetonide, a glucocorticoid banned in racing when an athlete is not allowed to use it as a drug.
The case has deepened suspicions that the substance is a doping product of choice for Kenyan athletes.
The IAU noted that 10 Kenyans have tested positive for triamcinolone since the beginning of 2021 and only two cases have been recorded in athletes from the rest of the world in the same period.
In a second triamcinolone case revealed Friday, Kenyan marathon runner Betty Wilson Lempus was also suspended after being investigated for doping and evidence tampering.
Kipyokei is also being investigated for “obstructing or delaying the AIU’s investigation by providing false information or documentation.”
The AIU did not offer further details on the suspected tampering that could be related to a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) document that athletes must have before using an otherwise prohibited drug.
Kipyokei, 28, faces a ban of at least four years and the loss of his win in Boston and $150,000 prize money.
“Kipyokei’s result in the 2021 Boston Marathon will be disqualified, pending the completion of the relevant athlete appeal processes,” the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), organizer of the race, said in a statement. “The BAA will adjust the race rankings and provide prize adjustments to the top finishers of the 2021 event, pending sanction.”
Kipyokei won the Boston race in the women’s branch by stopping the clock in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 45 seconds, a time she beat fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat by 24 seconds.
Kiplagat, a two-time world marathon champion who turns 43 next month, will claim her second Boston title. She also won there in 2017.