The gold-medal winner in the the women's marathon at the 2016 Summer Olympics has failed an out-of-competition doping test. Jemima Sumgong was the first Kenyan woman to win gold in the event.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed reports on Friday that Jemima Sumgong (pictured above, right) had tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO.
"The athlete tested positive for EPO following a no-notice test conducted by the IAAF in Kenya," the world governing body of track and field said in a statement, adding that this had come as "part of an enhanced IAAF out-of-competition testing program dedicated to elite marathon runners.
The 32-year-old Sumgong, who also won last year's London Marathon, had been on course to win $250,000 (235,000 euros) for topping the World Marathon Majors series after the Boston Marathon on April 17. The decision on whether she will win the award has now been put on hold pending the conclusion of her doping case.
The annual World Marathon Majors awards go to runners with the top finishes over six of the most prestigious marathons, plus the Olympics and World Championships.
Sumgong's failed test follows that of compatriot Rita Jeptoo, who was the leading women's marathon runner in the world when she also tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in 2014. Her initial two-year ban was doubled to four years in 2016 after the IAAF appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport seeking a stronger sanction.
pfd/mf (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)