Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 Olympic marathon champion, has tested positive for the banned substance EPO in an out-of-competition drug test carried out by the IAAF, the sport’s governing body has confirmed.
At last years Games, Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon.
The 32-year-old also won the London marathon last year, and is confirmed to return to London and defend her title at the end of this month.
In a statement the International Association of Athletics Federations said, “The IAAF can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning Jemima Sumgong (Kenya) has commenced this week. The athlete tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) following a no-notice test conducted by the IAAF in Kenya.”
“This was part of an enhanced IAAF out-of-competition testing programme dedicated to elite marathon runners which is supported by the Abbott World Marathon Majors group.”
The news of Sumgong’s failed out-of-competition drugs test, comes after a a four-year ban was handed to her former training partner and Kenya’s multi-marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, who tested positive for EPO in 2014.
Next we will await news on Sumgong’s B sample, and if confirmed as positive, and a ban is issued it will be a massive blow to Kenya after such a long spell without winning the marathon distance at the Olympics Games.