The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Ban Rescinded

A two-year ban imposed on international athlete Sumgong Jemimah Jelagat after she failed a dope test has been lifted by the International Association Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Kenya (AK).

Jelagat, who finished second at the Boston Marathon in April, was yesterday overjoyed after being cleared to continue with her career. She is expected to run in Philadelphia in her next Marathon.

The marathoner was banned by the AK on July 4th this year after the AK Medical Commission concluded that she had used medicine which contained prohibited substances just before the Boston race. It was alleged that her urine samples taken at the Boston race on April 16, 2012 indicated she had used a drug which contained a prohibited substance known as Prednisolone.

"Your ineligibility will be two years from June 11, 2012 to the same date in 2014. Your name will be published in the IAAF website and it will be added to the list of sanctioned athletes," a suspension letter signed by AK secretary general David Okeyo said in part.

Jelagat through her agent Frederico Rosa appealed to the IAAF, who after analysing the samples again cleared her. IAAF Anti-Doping administrator Gabriel Dolle, said they had found out that Jelagat had received a local (intrabursal) injection of Prednisolone for a medical condition duly diagnosed.

She was treating a heap injury and Dolle said Prednisolone is not prohibited when administered locally. "The IAAF considers that there should not have been any sanctions against the athlete and in addition, Jelagat declared the treatment she had received on the doping control form on the same day of the test at Boston," said Dolle in a letter to the AK, clearing the athlete.

Dolle asked AK to immediately revise its decision to ban the athlete and terminate the disciplinary procedures against her as she can't be regarded to have committed an anti-doping rule violation under IAAF rules. Consequently Okeyo wrote to Jelagat lifting the ban. "The AK Medical Commission has reviewed the decision against you including the IAAF opinion on the matter and resolved that the decision to suspend you for two years is terminated," said Okeyo's letter to Jelagat.

AK have, however, advised the athlete to be wary of anti-doping issues by constantly contacting her medical adviser whenever she falls sick and before taking any prescribed medication. "The ban had threatened my carrier but now I am relived and happy that I will now resume my training starting next week," said a delighted Jelagat.

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