Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei was suspended Friday after testing positive for doping at the 2021 race and could be stripped of her title.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced that Kipyokei failed a drug test that was collected after she won the 2021 marathon.

She tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide, a therapeutic drug prohibited in competition when administered via oral, rectal and all injectable routes because of clear evidence it acts as a performance enhancer, the AIU said.

Athletes are allowed to test positive for the drug if they prove it was administered through another route that was not orally, rectally or by injection.

Kipyokei allegedly tried to tamper with the doping investigation by providing false documentation about her drug use.

If the Kenyan long-distance runner is proven to have taken the prohibited drug, she will be disqualified as the 125th Boston Marathon winner, the AIU said, and the $150,000 prize money. Kipyokei also faces at least a four-year ban from the sport.

The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement it would readjust the race rankings and provide prize award adjustments to top finishers of the 2021 marathon, pending the sanctioning.

Diana Kipyokei, of Kenya, holds a Boston Marathon championship trophy following a news conference, on Oct. 12, 2021, in Boston.
Diana Kipyokei holds a Boston Marathon championship trophy after her 2021 win.

Kipyokei won the Boston women’s race in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 45 seconds. She finished 24 seconds ahead of her Kenyan compatriot Edna Kiplagat, who won the Boston Marathon in 2017. If Kipyokei is disqualified, Kiplagat will claim her second Boston Marathon title.

“Kipyokei’s result in the 2021 Boston Marathon will be disqualified, pending the completion of relevant athlete appeals processes,” the BAA said. “The Boston Athletic Association supports strict anti-doping measures to ensure fair competition and clean sport.”

Another Kenyan runner, Betty Wilson Lempus, was also suspended Friday after testing positive for the same drug after winning the 2021 Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris. Lempus was also charged with tampering with the AIU investigation by providing false documentation.

Thursday, the AIU banned Kenyan runner Mark Kangogo for the presence of triamcinolone acetonide in his sample.

“The cases announced today are part of a recent trend in Kenyan athletics regarding
triamcinolone acetonide, with ten Kenyan athletes testing positive for that prohibited
substance between 2021 and 2022,” the AIU said in a statement.

With Post Wires

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