23 Feb 2013

Kenya bans three marathon runners

9:19 am on 23 February 2013

Kenya has banned three marathon runners for doping offences, including the first case of a Kenyan athlete using the banned blood booster EPO.

Wilson Loyanae Erupe, who won the 2012 Seoul marathon in a course record, and Nixon Kiplagat were each suspended for two years, while Moses Kiptoo Kurgat received a one-year ban.

Erupe tested positive for EPO, or erythropoietin, in an out-of-competition test conducted last year, the first Kenyan athlete to be caught using the bannned drug hormone which increases the red blood cell count.

Kiplagat tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone, after competing in a race in Mexico.

A recent series of doping cases has sparked concern in the east Africa nation, whose runners are held up as national heroes.