LONDON (Reuters) - Former Olympic and triple world 1,500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya said on Wednesday he would “prove he was clean” following British media reports that he had tested positive for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.
The 28-year-old, world champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015 and promoted to Olympic gold in 2008 after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi tested positive for doping, was reported by Britain’s Press Association to have failed an out-of-competition test.
Kiprop posted a link to the story on the Athletics Kenya WhatsApp group and wrote: “I have read the reports linking me to doping. As an athlete, I have been at the forefront of the fight against doping in Kenya. A fight I strongly believe in and support. I would not want to ruin all what I have worked for since my first international race in 2007. I hope I can prove that I am a clean athlete in every way possible.”
Kiprop’s Italian agent Federico Rosa was quoted as saying he was aware of the reports but had no further details.
The latest news is another blow to the reputation of the East African country, the dominant force in middle and long distance running for decades but widely criticised for sub-standard anti-doping operations.
Three-times Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo and Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, also managed by Rosa, were among around 50 Kenyans who have failed doping tests in the last six years.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, additional reporting by Isaack Omolu, editing by Ed Osmond