MONACO (AP) — Kenyan distance runner Rhonex Kipruto, the 10-kilometer road running world record-holder, has been suspended for suspected doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Wednesday.
Kipruto, who also won a bronze medal in the 10,000-meter race at the 2019 world championships, has been notified of a charge relating to irregularities in his athlete biological passport, the AIU said.
The biological passport can detect possible irregularities in blood values assessed over time without an athlete testing positive for a banned substance. The 23-year-old Kipruto was suspected of using a banned substance or method, the AIU said.
Kipruto’s management company said the AIU informed Kipruto that the alleged irregularities in his biological passport dated back to late 2018, before he won bronze at the worlds and set the 10K road record. Ikaika Sports said Kipruto denied doping and the case had been “under scrutiny for some time now.”
Kipruto was only 19 when he finished third in the 10,000 at the 2019 worlds in Doha, Qatar. The race was won by Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.
Months later in January 2020, Kipruto ran his world-record time of 26 minutes, 24 seconds in a 10-kilometer road race in Valencia, Spain. He placed ninth in the 10,000 at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Kipruto is the latest in what has been a regular stream of Kenyans to be banned or suspended for doping in recent years.
The AIU and authorities in Kenya have said the East African nation, one of the most successful in international distance running, has a doping “crisis.”
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