Skip to main content

Tokyo Marathon Course Record Holder Sarah Chepchirchir Provisionally Suspended for Doping Offenses



A training partner of disgraced Rio Olympics gold medalist Jemima Sumgong, Tokyo Marathon course record holder and Japan all-comers' record holder Sarah Chepchirchir of Kenya has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for use of prohibited substances or methods. Chepchirchir's suspension follows the announcement last month of an eight-year suspension for Sumgong for doping-related offenses and an attempted coverup.

Both Chepchirchir and Sumgong are represented by agent Federico Rosa, whose other Kenyan clients include two-time Commonwealth Games medalist Lucy Kabuu, suspended last month for two years for doping, former Boston Marathon course record holder Rita Jeptoo, who lost her title and record with a four-year doping suspension, and former Olympic 1500 m gold medalist Asbel Kiprop, found to have tested positive for EPO. Rosa is scheduled to have athletes including 2018 Abu Dhabi Marathon winners Marius Kipserem (Kenya) and Ababel Yeshaneh (Ethiopia), 2018 Dubai Marathon 3rd-placer Yebrgual Melese (Ethiopia) and 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon winner Bedan Karoki (Kenya) compete at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon.

Should Chepchirchir lose her Tokyo title, Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba will become both the Tokyo Marathon course record holder and Japan all-comers' record holder thanks to her 2:19:51 win in Tokyo last year.



© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Cheboitibin Breaks Seko's Course Record at Ome 30 km

One of Japan's longest-standing course records at its elite races fell Sunday as Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) beat the great Toshihiko Seko's 38-year-old Ome 30 km Road Race record by almost 30 seconds.

Tough and hilly with a net climb in the first half and descent on the return trip, Ome is a standard spring marathon prep run and a natural partner for April's Boston Marathon, with which it has a longstanding athlete exchange program. The 2017 Ome winner, this time out Cheboitibin was gunning for Seko's record from the start, hitting the mostly uphill 10 km completely solo in 29:47, 20 km midway through the return trip in 59:30, and saving his fastest 10 km split for the end as he crossed the finish line in 1:29:06. Seko's 1:29:32 just two months before his first Boston win had made him the only man in Ome history to break 90 minutes. With the best performance of his career Cheboitibin turned the page on that history.

With the withdrawal of Fukuoka winner

Last Chance for Tokyo 2020? - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

With just under three weeks to go the organizers of the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon's 74th running have finally released the elite field. For Japanese men it's the last chance - almost - to qualify for September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials, the last domestic race with up to six spots up for grabs for anyone under 2:11:00 or 2:10:00 and more for anyone else under 2:08:30 or averaging under 2:11:00 between Lake Biwa and another marathon in the last year and a half. The window on that last two-race option runs through April 30th so there will still be a few chances left, but realistically for most of the men at Lake Biwa this is it, all or nothing for a home soil Olympic team.

There's a good international field of twelve African-born runners of eight nationalities at the 2:06 to 2:09 level to help pull the Japanese men to hit those times. Last year's winner Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) is back, ranked 6th in a field led by 2:06 men Deribe…

Beppu-Oita Marathon to Review Staff Training After Interpreter Refers to African Athletes as "Chimpanzees"

On Feb. 14 the organizers of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon confirmed that a local woman in her fifties who served as an interpreter at this year's race had published a blog post in which she referred to the African athletes on whose behalf she had worked as "chimpanzees." The woman said she had no malicious or racist intent behind her comments, but a spokesperson for the organizers called her choice of words "inappropriate." Organizers plan to review their training and guidance procedures for all race management staff members.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon took place in the two cities on Feb. 3. According to the spokesperson, the blog to which the woman posted the comments is for members of a sports club to which she belongs to report on what they have been doing. On Feb. 10 she wrote about her work with the African athletes, posting it with public access so that anyone could read it. She described the struggle of talking to the African athletes, saying …