Why AK dropped 800m runner from Team Kenya

Wednesday March 18 2020

Kenya's 2017 World Under-18 800m champion Jackline Wambui was withdrawn from the World Championships owing to high level of testosterone in her blood, Nation Sport can reveal.

That left the 2013 World 800m champion Eunice Sum as Kenya’s only flag bearer in women’s 800m at the Doha World Championships.

Also locked out over similar issue is upcoming Linda Kageha, who was initially named in the 4x4000m mixed relay team but later withdrawn.

Wambui won the 800m in the Kenyan trials last week with a personal best time of 1minute and 58.79 seconds while Kageha came in third in the 400m.

Wambui had attained the 800m qualifying mark but Kageha had not met the time in 400m but got the node in the 4x400m.

The 4x400m mixed relay team now has Mary Moraa, Gladys Musyoki, Alphas Kishoyian, Alex Sampao and Joseph Poghisio.

Kenya’s Hellen Syombua and Moraa will compete in women’s 400m.


It now brings the number of Kenyan athletes who have been affected by the IAAF rule on high levels of testosterone to five.

In May, another two Kenyan athletes Maximilla Imali and Evangeline Makena were dropped from the team for the IAAF World Relays championship in Japan after blood tests showed high levels of testosterone.

Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera has also not able to take part in any action over similar predicament.

The Kenyans have fallen foul of rules which have led to a long stand-off between South African two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Blood tests showed the Wambui and Kageha had testosterone levels higher than allowed by the IAAF, said Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya's vice-president in charge of competitions.

"All the female athletes in the team (for Doha world championships) were subjected to the blood tests after the national trials in Nairobi on September 13, and the doctors found that both Wambui and Kageha had high levels of testosterone," Mutwii told AFP.

"As a result they cannot compete in Doha as the new IAAF decision rules out female athletes with high levels of testosterone from competing in events from 400m to the mile."

The new IAAF rules came into force on May 8 and oblige women higher than normal male hormone levels - so-called "hyperandrogenic" athletes - to artificially lower their testosterone to run at some distances.

The most famous victim of the rule is Semenya, who is refusing to take the medication and will thus not take part in Doha.