Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon winner, has denied any wrongdoing after he was provisionally suspended by the sport’s independent Athletics Integrity Unit on Tuesday.
His management company Volare Sports said the AIU charge was based on “alleged abnormal variations in the haematological profile” from Wanjiru’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).
ABPs are used to monitor selected biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping rather than attempting to detect the doping substance or method itself.
Under anti-doping rules Wanjiru, 27, is barred from competing until a hearing has taken place into the allegation.
“I am clean in the sports I do,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Volare Sports. “I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.
“I stand for clean sports. My results of the past came through hard work only. I have never used doping,” he added
“We are currently investigating the case. Knowing I have never used anything, I have faith everything will be all right.”
Volare Sports said no prohibited substance was found. “The accusation is based on an assumption,” it added. “We are already trying to get to the bottom of this in order to find the truth.”
Susan Kamau, chief executive of Athletics Kenya, declined to comment on Wanjiru’s case.
In addition to his 2017 London win, Wanjiru secured gold at the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon and has finished eighth and 11th in the past two London marathons.
Kenya is world famous for its dominance in long and middle-distance running, but over the last five years a series of doping scandals has tarnished its reputation with around 60 of the country’s athletes sanctioned for anti-doping violations.
In December, Kenya’s government said it was planning to impose criminal penalties – including possible jail terms – on athletes caught doping.
Last year, Kenyans Asbel Kiprop, Cyrus Rutto and Abraham Kiptum were given four-year bans, while Vincent Kipsegechi Yator received the same suspension earlier this month.
Wilson Kipsang, the former marathon world record holder and bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, was provisionally banned in January for whereabouts failures and tampering with samples. (Reuters/NAN)