Sunday 22 July 2018

Ex-Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop claims he was extorted after failed drugs test

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Asbel Kiprop of Kenya competes in the Men's 1500 metres semi finals during day eight of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Asbel Kiprop of Kenya competes in the Men's 1500 metres semi finals during day eight of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)

Press Association

Former Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop has claimed he was tipped off about a drugs test and alleges doping control officers extorted money from him.

The 28-year-old three-time world champion has reportedly tested positive for banned blood-boosting agent EPO having had a test in Iten, Kenya, in November 2017.

He denies doping and alleges he was given prior notice of the test - a violation of the rules - and was then asked for money by officials.

He wrote in a detailed statement: "I did not at the time expect that the request for the money had anything to do with the sample.

"At that time I did not see the money as inducement or bribe for anything. I gave it in good faith thinking they may have some need known to them.

"In retrospect I now clearly see the money as having a relation with the sample collected on that date, and even the irregular advance notice I was given.

"I remain perplexed on how my innocent sample could turn positive on the only time when money was extorted from me.

"It is not beyond my suspicion that my sample turned positive because I might have remitted less money than I was expected to remit."

The Athletics Integrity Unit is aware of Kiprop's claims, Press Association Sport understands.

The middle-distance runner won 1500m Olympic gold in 2008 at the age of 19 after Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi failed a drugs test.

Now 28, he is a three-time world champion - winning in 2011, 2013 and 2015 - but finished last in the 1500m final at London 2012.

Kiprop was told of a failed drugs test in February and said he was "extremely shocked" but was confident it was a mistake and he would be cleared.

He wrote: "I know it may be impossible to defend myself from any accuser who has made up his mind and who would view my protestations as a mere denial.

"I however pray that all and sundry of good will do not hasten to summarily make negative assumptions and judgement about me.

"I am innocent. I did not dope."

Press Association

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