Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya has been handed a four-year ban for anti-doping rule violations that included using a fake photo of a traffic accident to justify one of four missed wheareabouts appointments, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.
World Athletics said Kipsang had four whereabouts failures between April 2018 and May 2019. Three such failures within 12 months leads to an automatic ban.
Kipsang said he missed a test on May 17, 2019 due to a traffic accident involving an overturned lorry and also provided a photo of the crash. However, the image was found to be from an accident recorded on Aug. 19, 2019.
“The World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal has banned long-distance runner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya for four years with effect from Jan. 10, 2020 for whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony,” the AIU said in a statement.
“The AIU considers that the evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly that the athlete was engaged in tampering or attempted tampering in breach of the IAAF rules,” it added in its ruling.
“The athlete engaged in fraudulent and deceitful conduct by providing deliberately misleading and false information to the AIU in an attempt to obstruct and delay the investigation into his explanation and/or prevent normal procedures from occurring, namely the recording of a Missed Test against him.”
Kipsang’s management team Volare Sports in a statement said it would be ill studying and analyzing the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal and consider the further legal steps.
“Volare Sports and Wilson strongly believe in a clean sport and support anti-doping measures for a 100 percent. We emphasize that there is no case of use of doping. No prohibited substance was ever found. The accusation regarding alleged/attempted tampering (article 2.5) concerned an explanation that was given in the results management process regarding a possible Whereabouts Failure and did not concern tampering with a doping test itself,” Volare said.
Kipsang, a bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, had been provisionally suspended in January for whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence.