Kenyan Marathon Runner Banned After Testing Positive To PED

Kenya’s long-distance runner, Julia Mumbia Muraga, has been banned for two years after failing a drug test, Athletics Kenya (AK) has announced.

AK confirmed on Thursday that Muranga, 31, tested positive for the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

Head of the country’s athletics federation Isaac Mwangi said Muranga, winner of the 2014 Cologne marathon, has been summoned to defend her case.

“She still has time to appeal,” Mwangi told reporters in Nairobi.

Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble. Julia Mumbi Muraga of Kenya (L) runs ahead of Nailiya Yulamanova of Russia and Bezunesh Bekele of Ethopia ( 3rd L) past the Victory Column(Siegessaeule) during women's marathon at the world athletics championships in central Berlin August 23, 2009.       .
Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble. Julia Mumbi Muraga of Kenya (L) runs ahead of Nailiya Yulamanova of Russia and Bezunesh Bekele of Ethopia ( 3rd L) past the Victory Column(Siegessaeule) during women’s marathon at the world athletics championships in central Berlin August 23, 2009. .

Muranga has been stripped of the title she won in Cologne after the German Anti-Doping Agency discovered she had returned a positive test. Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu , runner-up at the event, has been elevated to champion’s status by organisers of the race.

The development comes at a time when Kenyan athletes are under tight scrutiny following claims of widespread doping in the East African nation, believed to have nutured some of the world’s best middle and long distance runners.

Dozens of Kenyan athletes have tested positive to drugs in the past two years. Kenyan government officials have blamed the growing doping influence on foreign agents and AK’s failure to educate athletes properly.

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