Olympic Champion Sumgong Slapped With Record 8 Year Ban

Jan 25 - by Erick Ochieng for SportPesa News

IAAF Disciplinary Committee upholds AIU's petition to extend suspension over second charge of lying in addition to rEPO use

The 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong.PHOTO/IAAF

  • The 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong was on Friday banned for eight years by the IAAF’s independent  disciplinary tribunal committee, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)
  • Despite the ban,Sumgong has 21 days to appeal to the decision made by the commission Under Article 13(2) of the World Anti-Doping Code.This means that any appeal must be filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
  • Article 10.6.3 of the Anti-Doping Rules permits an athlete facing a potential four-year sanction “by promptly admitting the asserted anti-doping rule violation after being confronted by the RADO (Regional Anti-Doping Organisation)-Member Signatory of its Delegate Organisation (ADAK), and also upon approval and at the discretion of both WADA and RADO-member Signatory or its Delegate Organisation

NAIROBI, Kenya-The 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong was on Friday banned for eight years by the IAAF’s independent  disciplinary tribunal committee, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

This was after the body ruled that there were evidence  the marathon world beater fabricated her medical records and lied about her whereabouts after a positive test for rEPO in 2017, for which she later received a four-year ban.

“The IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal has banned the Kenyan distance runner and reigning Olympic women’s marathon champion for eight-years starting January 17,2019.

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“The remaining two years of her previous sanction will overlap with the eight-year sanction from that period. In effect, she will be ineligible until 2027,” the AIU stated on their twitter handle.

Brett Clothier, Head of AIU who embraced the news said: “We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal. We hope that it sends a message to dopers that the AIU has strong investigative capabilities and does not tolerate false evidence in doping cases."

“We also want to underline the vital support of  the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) in pursuing this case. They are a valuable partner in the fight against doping in Kenya,” Clothier added.

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The AIU committee chaired by Michael Beloff said they found “compelling evidence demonstrating the athlete submitted false medical documents to an anti-doping organisation and to the tribunal”.

Despite the ban,Sumgong has 21 days to appeal to the decision made by the commission under Article 13(2) of the World Anti-Doping Code.This means that any appeal must be filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Sports Disputes Tribunal rejected  Sumgong’s plea to reduce her doping ban to two years in 2017 after she admitted using the prohibited rEPO.

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Sumgong who was handed a four-year international ban by the ADAK had sought a lighter sentence at the SDT hearing of her case on grounds she had promptly admitted the presence of the banned blood booster in her system and did not intentionally dope.

Article 10.6.3 of the Anti-Doping Rules permits an athlete facing a potential four-year sanction “by promptly admitting the asserted anti-doping rule violation after being confronted by the RADO (Regional Anti-Doping Organisation)-Member Signatory of its Delegate Organisation (ADAK), and also upon approval and at the discretion of both WADA and RADO-member Signatory or its Delegate Organisation,

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Sumgong, through her defence lawyer, Wahome Ngugi, argued before the SDT she was eligible for a shorter suspension under the provisions of this rule having claimed the rEPO entered her body at the Kenyatta Nairobi Hospital (KNH) when she sought treatment for complications related to ectopic pregnancy.

She further requested that none of her previous results-including victories at the Olympic and London marathons last year- should be disqualified since she had not participated in any competition since the February 28, 2017 out-of-competition test where her urine A-Sample tested positive for rEPO.

In rejecting her plea for a reduced sentence, the SDT dismissed her purported letter dated February 22, 2018 from KNH claiming she had been treated with rEPO following complications from an ectopic pregnancy as fake.

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In aprevious confidential letter obtained by SportPesa News addressed to the Rio 2016 gold winner, AIU gave Sumgong the option of either accepting a second charge of lying about her positive test and serve an additional four years ban or seek a hearing to contest the new allegations at their Disputes Tribunal.

This is a very important letter. It confirms a charge against you for a second violation of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules (ADR- effective 3 April 2017).

This may result in a ban from all sport for a significant period, disqualification of results and the forfeiture of any medals, titles, points and prize and appearance money.

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You should therefore give this letter your full and most urgent attention and we strongly advise you seek legal advice, the letter copied to Athletics Kenya (AK), ADAK, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Disputes Tribunal Chair stated.