Kenyan marathon runner Daniel Wanjiru has been handed a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit for an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation.
The 2017 London Marathon winner was provisionally suspended in April for the “use of a prohibited substance/method” after “abnormalities were found in his athlete biological passport.
Wanjiru insisted that he has never used a banned substance, calling the charge “confusing and frustrating”.
From April 20, 2017 to April 25, 2019, World Athletics collected 16 ABP blood samples from Wanjiru.
The case centered around the sample 14 taken from Wanjiru on March 9, 2019 when he flew to London and competed in the London Half Marathon on March 10 and flew back to Kenya the next day.
The 15th sample was taken on March 13, 2019 in Kenya.
An expert panel explained about the abnormalities in Wanjiru’s 14th sample.
“Besides violation of the ABP individual haemoglobin concentration (HB) and OFF score limit the HB value recorded in sample 14 (19.4 g/l) is extraordinarily high for a healthy young man.
“In this context the extreme, abrupt and transitory increase of HB from 17.4 in sample 13 to 19.4 g/dL in sample 14 does not have any physiological explanation.
“Even in this case, a change of this inordinate rapidity and amplitude (-2.6 g/dL), and in such direction has neither any physiological nor any pathological explanation, in the absence of a severe and certified medical condition associated with loss of a large amount of blood.”
“Increase of HB from sample 13 to sample 14, and its sudden decrease from sample 14 to sample 15 cannot be explained by any other cause than blood manipulation.
“Considering the information… and in the absence of an appropriate explanation, that it is highly likely that a prohibited substance or prohibited method has been used and that it is unlikely that the passport is the result of any other cause.”
The tribunal accepted the expert panel’s view and has banned Wanjiru for four years, with the sanction backdated to December 9, 2019. Wanjiru will remain banned until December 8 2023.
Wanjiru’s ban means that all his results from March 9, 2019 “are disqualified with all resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money”, an AIU statement said.
Wanjiru won the London Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 48 seconds in 2017, and finished 8th at the same event the following year.