NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s former 1,500 metres world champion Elijah Manangoi has been handed a two-year ban for anti-doping violations after missing three tests under whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.
Manangoi, who will be ineligible to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, was provisionally suspended in July and the AIU said his ban comes into effect from Dec. 22 2019 which was the date of the third “whereabouts failure”.
The ruling means the disqualification of all Manangoi’s competitive results since then “with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money,” AIU said in its statement.
Manangoi’s ban comes after American 100 metres world champion Christian Coleman was also suspended for two years last month for breaching whereabouts rules.
Manangoi joins a list of Kenyan athletes who have been sanctioned in recent years, including 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo and 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong.
The 27-year-old Manangoi won the world title in 2017 in London and bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games a year later. A stress fracture sidelined him from defending his world crown last year.
The AIU said on Friday that Manangoi missed his first test on July 3 last year. He said that was the result of a delayed flight holding up his luggage where he had put his house keys.
“As he did not have his house keys, he had stayed in the nearest airport hotel which led in turn to his missed test in Rongai the following morning,” the AIU said.
Manangoi explained the reason for missing his second test on Nov. 12 2019 as being due to bad traffic delaying his arrival at the test location, according to the AIU.
Regarding his third missed test on Dec. 22 2019, Manangoi told the AIU he was in Austria for treatment on an injury and asked a third party to inform the authorities he would not be back in Kenya in time for the test but they failed to do so.
“The Delegate mistakenly failed to appreciate that the Athlete would not in fact arrive back in Nairobi until after his 60-minute time slot… on 22 December 2019 and therefore did not update his information for that date,” according to the AIU.
The AIU said on Friday that Manangoi had accepted the punishment for his violation and waived his right “to have those consequences determined by the Disciplinary Tribunal.”
(Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ken Ferris)