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Kacheran becomes 20th Kenyan athlete to be banned this year

Marathon runner Philemon Kacheran was banned for three years on Monday for testing positive for excess levels of testosterone, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said, making him the 20th Kenyan athlete to be sanctioned this year.

Kacheran, 30, who finished fifth in the 2021 Berlin marathon was initially suspended in July and dropped from the Kenyan national marathon team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Kacheram’s suspension came only six days after compatriot Lawrence Cherono, the 2019 Chicago and Boston marathon champion, was prevented from competing in the World athletics championships in Oregon, also for a doping offence.

The AIU said Kacheran admitted the violation of its doping rules out of his out-of-competition urine test taken in his hometown of Kapenguria, Western Kenya in April.

“On 12 September 2022, the athlete returned a signed admission of anti-doping rule violations… and accepted the asserted period of ineligibility,” the AIU said.

His admission saw a standard four-year ban reduced by a year.

Kacheram’s suspension is the latest in a saga that is threatening to undermine Kenya’s athletic reputation. 

In 2016, the country was placed in the top category of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) compliance watch list.

In 2022, 20 Kenyan athletes, mostly marathon runners, have now been sanctioned. 

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