Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat could be crowned jackpot winner of the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series and have a share of over Sh90 million after Rita Jeptoo’s failed doping test.
Jeptoo’s fate was sealed after her ‘B’ Sample corroborated her ‘A’ Sample that tested positive for prohibited substance Erythropoietin in an out-of-competition test in Eldoret on September 24, 2014.
Results of the first test was revealed just days before the New York Marathon race that was due for November 2 where Jeptoo was to collect a share of the series jackpot.
Jeptoo had made history as the first person to win four consecutive World Marathon Majors Series when she defended her Boston and Chicago Marathon titles.
She expects a two-year ban in January. She is the first top Kenyan athlete to fail dope test since Matthew Kisorio two years ago.
If Jeptoo is banned, Kiplagat could win the jackpot a second time after being declared the series winner following a two-year suspension on Russian Liliya Shobukhova.
Reports indicated that Shobukhova’s ‘biological passport showed abnormal haematological curves’, prompting the IAAF to strip the Russian marathoner of the titles she won in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Kiplagat was declared the winner as the late Sammy Wanjiru won in men’s category.
WON FOUR RACES
Jeptoo, who had won four WMM titles in the 2013-2014 seasons, had collected a maximum of 100 points- the highest ever gone, and bagged four titles in the season, thanks to her double wins in Boston and Bank of America Chicago Marathons.
Although Athletics Kenya is yet to determine Jeptoo’s fate, Kiplagat stands to benefit as she is ranked second after Jeptoo in the series with 65 points garnered from winning gold and silver in 2013 and 2014 London Marathons.
Meseret Hailu and Bizunesh Deba, both from Ethiopia were runners up in 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathons where Jeptoo took gold.
The two Boston Marathon titles Jeptoo won may eventually go to Ethiopian athletes. Boston Marathon is the highest paying race in the WMM series and offers a winning prize of about Sh13 million.