Marathon Runner Samuel Kalelei Banned for 4 Years

  • 2017 Athens Marathon Winner, Samuel Kalalei, has been slapped with a four-year ban by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for testing positive for blood-booster EPO.

    EPO (Erythropoietin) is a glycoprotein secreted by the kidney which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

    More red blood cells increase the ability of the body to take in oxygen, preventing an athlete from running out of breath. 

    Samuel Kalelei at the 2017 Athens Marathon

    His urine sample which was collected after the 2018 Rotterdam marathon in the Netherlands, gave indications that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

    The AIU moved further to disqualify all of Kalelei’s results since that event.

    He had set a personal best of two hours, 10 minutes and 44 seconds to finish in seventh place.

    The 23-year-old is now the third Kenyan athlete to be banned for doping, further damaging Kenya’s reputation as a dominant force in global middle and long-distance running.

    He joins the likes of Eliud Magut and Suleiman Kipses Simotwo.

    Four other cases are still pending, including those of Asbel Kiprop, the former Olympic 1500m gold medalist and Jemima Sumgong, the Rio 2016 Olympic Women’s champion.

    A World Anti-Doping Agency report showed that between 2004 and Aug 1, 2018, as many as 138 athletes from Kenya had tested positive for prohibited substances, 113 of them during competitions.

    Asbel Kiprop wins the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships