The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Kenya’s running champion Daniel Wanjiru from athletics for doping until 8th December 2023.
On Wednesday October 14, 2020, AIU announced that it gave Kenyan marathoner Daniel Wanjiru a four-year ban following an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation. The 28-year-old Wanjiru has big wins to his name from the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016 and London Marathon in 2017, as well as a podium finish at the 2019 Vitality Big Half Marathon.
With race cancellations around the world, he hasn’t missed out on many racing opportunities during his suspension (which was issued by the AIU in April), but he is now officially banned from competition until December 8, 2023.
What is an Athlete Biological Passport?
Some drug tests can detect specific substances, but ABPs are more general, and according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, they monitor “biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping.” Multiple rounds of blood tests are used to determine what the “normal” blood levels are for each individual athlete. Once this is set, any future changes or jumps in an athlete’s levels likely mean that they are doping.
According to the AIU’s disciplinary report on Wanjiru, he accepted a “volunteer provisional suspension” in December, agreeing not to race at all until a decision was made regarding his fate in the sport. Because of this, his ban retroactively starts on December 9, 2019. Four years from then, on December 8, 2023, the ban will be complete. As written in the report, Wanjiru told the AIU that he “did not have the medical or other means or motive to dope in any of the ways alleged, or at all.”
In addition to his ban, the AIU ordered that Wanjiru forfeit any results he recorded following the test in question, which was taken on March 9, 2019. He will also have to repay any prize money he won after this date. Unfortunately for Wanjiru, he ran all three of his races in 2019 after March 9, starting with his third-place finish at the Vitality Big Half Marathon on March 10, an 11th place at the London Marathon in April and finally another 11th at a 10,000m race in Kenya in July.
The 2017 London Marathon winner was suspended in April based on allegations of taking a banned substance – which he denied, however, a tested sample returned levels of red blood cells which had no “physiological explanation,” according to a statement issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
A similar finding from a test taken in March 2019 that also indicated the likelihood of a prohibited substance or method
It means there are now 66 runners from Kenya currently serving bans for doping-related offences.
Recently, four other Kenyan athletes were banned in one day for anti-doping violations. Among them are 2017 World 1500m gold medallist, Elijah Manangoi.
The Athletics Integrity United also handed down bans to long-distance runner Patrick Siele, 2018 Rotterdam Marathon-winner Kenneth Kipkemoi, and 2013 Venice Marathon winner Mercy Kibarus.
The quartet are just the latest in a long list of Kenyan athletes found guilty of anti-doping violations.
Wilson Kipsang was also banned for four years for whereabouts violations and tampering with an anti-doping control.
In 2019 alone, fifteen Kenyan athletes were banned for anti-doping violations.
UJA House, Bombo Rd,
Keti Falawo Zone, Kawempe Division
Kampala – Uganda