NAIROBI, Kenya–Kenya’s top woman marathon runner Rita Jeptoo is facing a two-year suspension after her ��B�� sample turned positive for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO, Athletics Kenya said Friday. ��The ��B�� sample has come back positive from the out-of-competition test in September,�� Athletics Kenya vice-president David Okeyo told AFP. ��Jeptoo attended the test in person in Lausanne. We will meet in January to discuss the way forward.�� The 33-year-old Jeptoo, the two-time winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, is the highest profile Kenyan athlete to fail a doping test. The confirmation of her ��B�� came on the day when AK officials defended the country’s record on doping, despite 32 athletes having tested positive for banned substances in and out of competition in the last five years.
��We are not saying we have no doping issues, in fact we have a big problem. But we have taken appropriate action in accordance with the provision of the rules as provided for by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). We cannot do better or worse than that,�� AK president Isaiah Kiplagat told a news conference. ��In the last five years we have either punished through suspension or warnings 32 athletes. If you compared that with athletes who have been punished by other federations, such as Russia or China, we are nowhere near. ��But, nevertheless, we cannot say because those numbers are few, we have to be relaxed in the fight against the menace,�� added Kiplagat. He warned that any foreign agent whose athletes tested positive for drugs in big numbers would have their training licenses terminated. Kenya launched a new national Anti-Doping organization (NADO) on Thursday and AK was one of the national sports federations which signed a commitment to support, abide and accept the results it carries against doping in the country.