Rita Jeptoo begins fight to clear her name

Tuesday November 4 2014

Rita Jeptoo leaves Athletics Kenya Offices on November 4, 2014 after meeting Athletics Kenya anti-doping commission at Riadha House. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO

Rita Jeptoo leaves Athletics Kenya Offices on November 4, 2014 after meeting Athletics Kenya anti-doping commission at Riadha House. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO 

By AYUMBA AYODI
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This year’s winner of Boston and Chicago marathons, Rita Jeptoo, who failed a doping test last week wants her ‘B’ sample tested to clear her name.

But the troubled athlete whose ‘A’ sample tested positive for blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO) refused to speak to journalists Tuesday after coming out of a day-long meeting with Athletics Kenya (AK) officials and AK’s Anti-Doping Commission at Riadha House in Nairobi.

Asked about her take on the matter, she said: “Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!” The athlete, who was wearing dark sunglasses, was then whisked away in a saloon car as it became clear she was about to break down.

AK CEO Isaac Mwangi later released a statement indicating that Jeptoo had said she wanted her ‘B’ sample to be analysed to ascertain the validity of her failed doping test.

WRITTEN EXPLANATION

The 33-year-old was formally notified of the results of her test before being asked to provide a written explanation of the circumstances that led to her failing the test.

Mwangi said AK would treat the matter in confidence, given the sensitive nature of the case which is still at an early stage.

“This (Jeptoo’s explanation as to what led to her ‘A’ sample turning positive and yesterday’s statement from AK) has been forwarded to the IAAF for further consideration in line with IAAF rules,” said the AK statement, adding that Jeptoo’s rights are safeguarded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and IAAF regulations. 

“We are happy with our first meeting and the athlete has been cooperative throughout the meeting,” said Mwangi, adding that the meeting was held to establish the facts surrounding the case.

Mwangi stated that more information will be communicated to the public after expiry of the confidentiality period according to the IAAF rules. AK vice president, David Okeyo, said it may take long before the case is finalised, given the sensitivity of the investigations.