Reigning Rio Olympic (headphoto) and London marathon 2016 champion JEMIMA SUMGONG is the latest Kenyan athlete to fail a drugs test, says a statement from IAAF at 6th of April 2017.

The 32-year-old tested positive for banned substance EPO in an out of competition test carried out by athletics’ governing body the IAAF.

When the Olympic marathon champion tests positive for EPO, it’s a sad day for the sport. What we all witnessed at the Rio Olympics was a sham and that is a shame. We’ve said that track and field is the opposite of professional wrestling: we watch it knowing it may be fake (performance enhancing), but hope it is real. A positive test confirms our worst fears. What we saw in Rio (and 2016 London) was apparently fake

EPO is one of the most sold banned substances you can get in Eldoret in Kenya. There are over 100 pharmacies there, where a lot of them are selling EPO. Kenya has to do something with this!

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Photo: Samsung’s husband and coach Noah Talam at Nandi district in Kenya, coaching his group in March.

Sumgong’s coach and the coach of her entire group is her husband Noah Talam. Talam is also the brother of Sarah Chepchirchir, the woman who had a huge breakthrough to win the Tokyo Marathon in February, running 2:19:47. Noah Talam was the rabit of the group under coach Claudio Berardelli. Now is Talam the coach, when Dr.Rosa is home in Italy for some periodes.

RITA JEPTOO, WAS A PART OF THE SAME TRAINING GROUP.

Throwing in the fact that Rita Jeptoo, a Boston and Chicago Marathon champion who tested positive for EPO in 2014, was also a former training partner of Sumgong’s and it is only natural to start discounting what everyone in the group does when it comes to doping? We will not be supriced if other from the same group is using EPO. Anytime someone tests positive, it is natural to put under extra scrutiny the training partners of the person who tested positive.

Photo: Sumgong and her husband Talam inside their training camp.

The improvement of Sumgong and Chepchirchir is remarkable, the explanation given for their improvement by them self is that after Jeptoo tested positive and former coach Claudio Berardelli left the group, Talam took over and was more involved with the athletes and better understood them. But we know better now!

Sumgong the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic marathon gold – was due to defend her London title on 23 April.

HOW EPO HAS MAKED SUMGONG FASTER.

She took up the marathon in 2006 at age 21, running 2:35 to win her debut at the Las Vegas Marathon. From 2006 through 2012, she never ran faster than 2:28 across her first six career marathons. In her next two career marathons, at age 28, she improved by almost eight minutes, running 2:23:27 for the win at the 2013 Rotterdam Marathon, followed by 2:20:48 for second (behind Jeptoo) at the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

She remained one of the world’s best for the next two years before making another leap in 2016 and winning the two most competitive marathons in the world — London and the Olympics.

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Photo: Sarah Chepchirchir winning Tokyo Marathon in February, at time 2:19:47 (PB).

In case you are wondering about Sumgong’s training partner/sister-in-law Sarah Chepchirchir, who in February won the Tokyo Marathon, here’s her progression. She ran 69:27 for the half marathon in 2010 at age 26, improving to 68:07 in 2011. She then ran 68:34 in 2012, but from 2013 to 2015 never ran faster than 69:38.

Then in 2016, a year in which she turned 32 years old, she decided to take up the marathon. She ran 2:30 in her debut in Hamburg in April, then improved to 2:24 in Lisbon in marathon no.2 in October. In December, she ran a half marathon PB of 67:52, and followed that up in Tokyo with another huge marathon PB of 2:19.

We’d like to believe that Chepchirchir is clean ?, but given her dramatic recent improvement and her close association with Sumgong, there are a lot of questions about her right now.

DR. ROSA (ITA) IS SUMGONG’s MANAGER ALSO.

After she became Olympic champion, when asked in Rio by LetsRun.com what she would say to people who were suspicious of her performances, Sumgong was adamant that she was clean, stressing the word seven times in her answer including, “We are very clean. We assure you we are clean…. With the company of Rosa Associati, they are clean… With the Kenyan athletes, we are sure we are clean. Myself I am sure I am clean. No doping scandal at all (with me).”

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After New York Marathon, Nov.-16, Dr. Gabriele Rosa (75y) (photo over from NYC Nov.-16) also insisted that Rita Jeptoo’s coach Claudio Beradelli had no idea Jeptoo was doping (a claim that was backed up by a Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, ruling that says Jeptoo kept her doping hidden from him) but he harshly criticized Berardelli for not being smart enough to realize his athlete was on drugs based off of how well she was running as Dr. Rosa said; “What I say to Claudio [was], ‘Why are you every day twice per day with the athletes and you are not able to understand [they are doping]?’

Well Dr. Rosa, we ask you the same question, “How are you with the athletes twice per day and not able to understand they are doping?”

Jemima Sumgong, Rita Jeptoo (2014, for EPO), Agatha Jeruto (800m runner, 2015, for Norandrosterone) and Mathew Kisorio (2012, for steroids) are all runners for Dr.Rosa’s Management in Italy. All of them taken for doping! Rosa Management is lead by his son Federico Rosa, which was jailed in Kenya last summer during investigation charged with aiding Jeptoo’s doping. The charged was dropped in Nov. last year.

NYC champ (2015) Stanley Biwott used to be coached by Berardelli and is currently represented by the Rosas. He had nothing but good things to say about Berardelli and Federico Rosa in November 2016;
“I know Federico is a good guy. Those are false allegations. My former coach – Claudio – was the best,” said Biwott.

Dissatisfied with coach Berardelli’s results, DrRosa got back into the coaching game again at Spring 2015, and the results have been spectacular for Sumgong and Biwott. A 2015 NYC win and 2:03 London runner-up in 2016 for Biwott, and London Marathon 2016 and Rio Olympic 2016 titles for Sumgong.

The Rosas manage a ton of high-profile studs — Asbel Kiprop, Bedan Karoki, Dickson Chumba, Paul Tanui and Stanley Biwott, to name just a few. And those are just the current athletes. In the past, they’ve worked with the likes of Paul Tergat and Sammy Wanjiru. If the Rosas are helping to dope their athletes, that suddenly makes anyone working with them questionable.

Strangely, the only person who comes out of this looking better is Sumgong’s former coach Claudio Berardelli. Berardelli also coached Kisorio and Jeptoo but denied involvement in their doping. We have no idea what to think anymore, but Berardelli clearly wasn’t the linchpin in the doping.

THE TRUTH GABRIELE AND FREDRICO ROSA?

Gabriele and Federico Rosa, it’s time to tell the truth. Either admit you’ve been asleep? at the wheel while your athletes have doped with impunity or admit that you helped facilitate it?

THE DRUGTESTING OF THE BEST MARATHON RUNNERS HAS BEEN BETTER.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

A lot of people in the sport talk about clean sport, but the Abbott World Marathon Majors actually did something about it. Back in March 2015, on the heels of Rita Jeptoo’s positive EPO test the year before, the World Marathon Majors (WMM) announced that, in cooperation with the IAAF, it would fund out-of-competition testing for approximately 150 athletes a minimum of six times per year. That extra funding paid off as Sumgong was nailed by one of those out-of-competition tests in Kenya.

It is very important to note that Sumgong tested positive in an out-of-competition test — just as Jeptoo did back in 2014. For years, one of the biggest blind spots in drug testing has been out-of-competition testing in Ethiopia and Kenya — training meccas where it’s hard (and expensive) to test athletes. Sumgong’s positive test is evidence that out-of-competition testing in those locales is improving.

But there’s still a long way to go. The WMMs only subsidize testing of marathoners in their pool, so that means no middle distance runners (not to mention sprinters/jumpers/field eventers). And the fact that Sumgong only got popped now shows that you can cheat and still beat the tests (unless you naively believe that she only started taking EPO after she won London and the Olympics).

And speaking of the World Marathon Majors, this was a very costly mistake for Sumgong. She had already wrapped up the World Marathon Majors Series X title and its $500,000 first place prize. To get that money, all she had to do was not to test positive for drugs.

KENYA AND ANTI-DOPING HANDLING; TERRIBLE BAD SO FARE

When the charges against Federico Rosa were dropped Jere Longman of the NYTimes reported, “the reasons were not fully explained publicly.” It’s time for the Kenyan authorities to get to the bottom of this.

Kenya was last year declared in breach of anti-doping rules, and athletes underwent special testing for Rio 2016. But this only happend once in July at their pre-camp in Kenya. And everyone new it was to happen there before the Rio Olympic.

The East African country was deemed “non-compliant” by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but was reinstated before last summer’s Games.

Between 2011 and 2016, more than 40 Kenyan track-and-field athletes failed doping tests.

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SUMGONG’s A-SAMPLE WAS POSITIVE FOR EPO. CONSEQUENCES?

Sumgong is provisionally suspended, and she will face sanctions if her B-sample also tests positive.

Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain took silver behind Sumgong in Rio, with Ethiopia’s world champion Mare Dibaba claiming bronze and another Ethiopian, Tirfi Tsegaye, fourth.

“We can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning Jemima Sumgong (Kenya) has commenced this week,” the IAAF said in a statement.

“The athlete tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) following a no-notice test conducted 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.”

London Marathon organisers said they were “extremely disappointed” by Sumgong’s positive test, adding: “We are determined to make marathon running a safe haven from doping.”

In 2015, the Sunday Times claimed the London Marathon had been won seven times in 12 years by athletes who had recorded suspicious blood scores.

That followed details of 12,000 blood test results from 5,000 athletes published by the newspaper, in partnership with German broadcaster ARD.

 

Sources: IAAF, BBC SPORT, LETSRUN.COM, SUNDAY TIMES, NEW YORK TIMES, ARD, AND Abbott World Marathon Majors.

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