Rhonex Kipruto Faces Six-Year Competition Ban After Doping Guilty Verdict

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Kenyan runner Rhonex Kipruto for six years until 2029 after finding him guilty of doping violations. The 24-year-old is set to be stripped of major achievements, including his 10km road race world record and a 2019 world championship 10,000m bronze medal.

Kipruto had been provisionally suspended last May for an anti-doping rule violation. A Disciplinary Tribunal examined irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) data, which monitors biological markers that can reveal the effects of doping substances or methods.

The AIU stated the tribunal rejected Kipruto’s defense, concluding the abnormal ABP data was “more likely due to blood manipulation” like using the banned substance recombinant human erythropoietin (rEPO). No other plausible explanation could account for the irregularities.

Despite denying the doping charge, the panel was “comfortably satisfied” Kipruto engaged in “a deliberate and sophisticated doping regime over a long period” based on the evidence presented.

As a result of the guilty ruling, Kipruto faces having his 10km world record of 26:24 set in Valencia in 2020 annulled, along with being stripped of his 2019 world championship 10,000m bronze medal. His 2019 Diamond League 10,000m victory in Stockholm will also be nullified.

The 24-year-old can still appeal the six-year suspension handed down by the Disciplinary Tribunal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport as his last recourse.