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The gold and silver medalists from the Rio 2016 women's marathon have now been banned for doping

Silver medalist Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa has today been suspended for four years having been provisionally banned since last month.

Rio silver medalist Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa, of Bahrain, left, and gold medalist Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya, have both received lengthy bans for doping.
Rio silver medalist Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa, of Bahrain, left, and gold medalist Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya, have both received lengthy bans for doping.
Image: Robert F. Bukaty

BAHRAIN’S EUNICE JEPKIRUI Kirwa, who won silver in the marathon at the Rio Olympics in 2016, has been suspended for four years for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has confirmed.

Kenyan-born Kirwa had been provisionally banned since May after EPO was detected in her blood sample.

Her four-year suspension is backdated to 7 May, 2019.

Kirwa, who also took home bronze from the World Championships in Beijing in 2015, can appeal her suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 35-year-old finished second in Rio behind Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong, who was initially banned for four years in November 2017 and had that ban doubled in January of this year after claims that she was injected with EPO by an ‘imposter’ at a Kenyan hospital during a doctor’s strike were dismissed.

Sumgong had initially claimed she had suffered a ruptured ectopic pregnancy on 22-23 February 2017, and subsequently received an injection and a blood transfusion at a Nairobi hospital.

Sumgong, who had previously suffered an ectopic pregnancy in 2009, provided anti-doping officials with five fabricated hospital documents to support her case.

The hospital in question confirmed not only that her documents were fake — they lacked a unique hospital number — but that she had not visited at all in February 2017. It added that, in any case, a problem as severe as a ruptured ectopic pregnancy would have required a four-day stay at an acute gynaecology ward.

Sumgong claimed the doctor’s strike explained the lack of a proper record of her visit.

She was unable to explain, however, how WADA’s record of her whereabouts showed that she was in Kapsabet – a five-hour drive away – at the time.

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