Nairobi - The chairperson of Athletics Kenya (AK) has
revealed that another "high-profile athlete" has failed a doping
test, just weeks after it emerged Rio Olympics marathon champion Jemima Sumgong
tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Jackson Tuwei said that the IAAF, the sport's global
governing body, had found the positive test but said the identity of the
athlete could not yet be revealed.
Kenya's middle and long distance success has been marred by
doping cases involving elite athletes. Officials estimate the number of
positive tests at about 50 in the past four years.
"There is another high-profile athlete who has also
failed a doping test but we have to wait for legal procedures to be
followed," Tuwei told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
"Obviously we cannot say who the athlete is."
News of the test comes after Sumgong, who last year became
the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, tested positive for
the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) in an out-of-competition test
carried out by IAAF.
Doping was made a criminal offence in Kenya in June 2016.
Tuwei said the IAAF had rejected Sumgong's explanation about
the circumstances that led to her positive test.
"Her explanation has been rejected and she has been
ordered to send a more convincing explanation before further action is
taken," Tuwei said.
Sumgong's positive test came in the wake of a four-year ban
handed to Kenya's multi-marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, Sumgong's former
training partner, after she tested positive for EPO in 2014.
“We also wish to send a very strong message to athletes
representatives, doctors, coaches and all athletes support personnel that those
found culpable or proved to be encouraging our athletes in this line of
sporting subterfuge will be charged as prescribed by the law of the land,” AK
said in a separate statement on Thursday.
Sumgong, 32, was among the six Kenyan gold medallists in
Rio, which was the country's best performance at an Olympics.