Rita Jeptoo Receives Extended Ban to 2018

Kenyan marathoner Rita Jeptoo's ban from the sport has been extended from 2016 to 2018.

The Boston and Chicago Marathon winner received an extended ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday which upheld the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appeal. The IAAF requested a four-year ban be "imposed on the athlete due to aggravating circumstances surrounding her doping offense." 

CAS imposed a four-year period of ineligibility on Jeptoo and disqualified her results from the 2014 Boston Marathon and all other results as of April 17, 2014 (including the Chicago Marathon). Her period of ineligibility began on October 30, 2014 and ends in 2018. 

Jeptoo received an initial two-year ban when she tested positive for EPO from a test conducted prior to the 2014 Chicago Marathon. Jeptoo won the marathon on Oct. 12 and on Oct. 24 her sample was found to contain recombinant EPO. The news was announced just days before Jeptoo was supposed to accept her award as World Marathon Majors champion. 

Athletics Kenya imposed a two-year ban on Jeptoo in January 2015 after her "B" sample tested positive as well. After Jeptoo filed an appeal against the decision in March 2015 (which she later withdrew), the IAAF appealed Athletics Kenya's two-year ban in favor of a four-year ban. 

From her differing accounts of visiting the doctor that injected her with EPO to her "deceptive and obstructive conduct," the CAS felt confident in justifying a four-year ban for Jeptoo.

"The Panel is comfortably satisfied that there are aggravating circumstances in the case at hand as it was obvious to the Panel that the athlete used rEPO as part of a scheme or plan," CAS wrote in a statement. "The evidence for this includes inter alia her long relationship with the doctor in question, her multiple visits to see him, that her rEPO use was consistent with her competition calendar, that she hid the visits to the doctor in question from her manager and coach, as well as her deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the proceedings."

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