Nairobi, February 4: One year after he was temporarily suspended for alleged doping, three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop is crying foul saying nobody has acted on his plea of innocence. On February 3, 2018, Kiprop gave a urine sample to be tested in an out-of-competition testing initiative by the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) through the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), reports Xinhua news agency.
The athlete's urine sample came back positive for EPO, a blood-boosting agent that violates international doping rules. However, Kiprop insists he never doped and suspects that his sample might have been switched. "A day like today (February 3, 2018) I was personally notified by AIU that I failed a drug test. An allegation that I denied because I did not dope. The year has been like a decade to me, losing fans and all that comes with hard work. I always ask myself Why?" Kiprop said in Eldoret on Monday.
In March last year, the 29-year-old was charged with violating anti-doping regulations. His case now sits with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) disciplinary tribunal, which could ban him from competing for up to four years if they determine he is guilty of doping. "I miss inspiration and hope. I miss the dream. I miss the spirit of athletics. I miss what I live for," said Kiprop. "It's not time to let go. I still got it in me. Please AIU serve me justice please. I did not dope."
In the last six years, about 50 Kenyan athletes have failed drug tests which has forced the IAAF to rank it among the countries with high risk and with the potential of its athletes taking banned doping substances. Kenya has been placed on the watch list of four member federations alongside Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine, which pushes their risk level to high.
The four countries have been placed in Pool A by the Athletics Integrity Unit. But the long time it has taken the IAAF to settle Kiprop's case is raising eyebrows. "My life will never be the same even if I earn justice over false doping accusation," said Kiprop.
"In future if I happen to become a world class coach and my athletes excel, opponents will be poking on them that their coach was once an alleged cheat. But Why?" he asked.