Athletics: Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo fails doping test

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya celebrates after winning of the Chicago Marathon on Oct 12, 2014. Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, has failed an out-of-competition doping test, Athletics Kenya said on Friday. -- PHOTO:&
Rita Jeptoo of Kenya celebrates after winning of the Chicago Marathon on Oct 12, 2014. Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, has failed an out-of-competition doping test, Athletics Kenya said on Friday. -- PHOTO: AFP

NAIROBI (REUTERS) - Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, has failed an out-of-competition doping test, Athletics Kenya said on Friday.

"Athletics Kenya is disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF in regards to the doping test results of above named athlete through the 'A' sample collected during out of competition on 25th September 2014," they said in a statement.

"The result of the 'A' sample has indicated the presence of prohibited substances."

Athletics Kenya did not give more details on what substance the test had found.

Jeptoo, 33, could not be reached on Friday, but after a meeting with senior athletics officials on Thursday, she said the accusation was false.

"Those are lies," she told reporters.

World Marathon Majors (WMM) series, which organises marathons in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City, said the organisation was disappointed at the news of Jeptoo failing the doping test.

"World Marathon Majors is disappointed to learn that Rita Jeptoo has apparently had an A test that proved positive for a banned substance under IAAF rules," it said in a statement on its website (www.worldmarathonmajors.com) on Friday.

WMM said the news had affected their awards ceremony slated for this weekend.

Jeptoo was a leading contender for an award based on the rankings listed on the WMM website.

"In the circumstances it has been decided to postpone the WMM Awards Ceremony that was due to take place on the 2nd November 2014," the statement said.

Athletics Kenya said its medical and anti-doping commission will meet next week with Jeptoo "to establish whether she would wish to exercise her right to order for testing of the 'B' sample."

At least 36 Kenyan athletes have failed dope tests in the past two years.

Kenya's Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario made public an Anti-Doping Task Force Report in Nairobi two weeks ago at which he blamed the growing doping cases in Kenya on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya's failure to educate its athletes.