On Monday, Athletics Kenya admitted that the illegal substance Rita Jeptoo tested positive for was EPO. The positive sample was taken on September 25th and considered out of competition but I’m still bothered by it. I find it hard to believe that if she was using EPO it didn’t affect her race.
If you have any doubts of the effects of EPO on runners, read this article. I realize the article goes on to talk about horses but you get the gist of it. And anyway, if you have any doubts of the effects of EPO just consult the experts and by the experts, I mean Google.
The fact that this test was performed two weeks before Jeptoo won the Chicago marathon is not what I have an issue with. What I have the issue with is the fact that she failed. Period. When is that ever okay? And the fact that they have a B sample is fine but why haven’t they tested it? Why is it her decision? And just how prevalent is EPO among distance runners in Kenya, Russia or wherever.
Just a few months ago I read an article in Runner’s World on doping among local elites. These are not the athletes you read about on a daily basis, they aren’t the Meb’s or the Shalane’s of the sport but they still win money and just how fair is that? In my opinion, it isn’t.
I was blown away when I read Christian Hesch’s casual account of doping and how he maintains that he used it 54 times over 2 years but only to recover from injuries, never during races. Sorry, but I call bullshit on that one.
Once the word is out that someone has failed a drug test, I lose all respect for them and any success they may have had. Whether they raced while doping or not is a moot point. The point is that EPO enhances performance therefore it gives the user an advantage and that is why doping is illegal and should not be tolerated.
I am wondering what will happen with Rita Jeptoo. Will the B sample be tested? Will she accept the findings of the failed test and suffer the consequences? What are those consequences? Who knows, but it definitely brought back flashbacks of this incident.
I agree with Paula Radcliffe and I’m glad this test result came to light before Jeptoo accepted the huge payout she was going to receive for winning the World Marathon Majors. If the test was wrong, then I hope that comes out too but if she did indeed use EPO then she should have to pay the price. We should never reward anyone for cheating and doping is indeed cheating no matter who you are.
How do you feel about doping and EPO?
Do you think Rita Jeptoo knowingly used EPO?