- by BRANDY KEMUNTO on Monday, 16 October 2023
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an International body that oversees athletics has banned Kenyan athlete Titus Ekiru for 10 years over doping allegations.
According to AIU, the elite athlete colluded with a doctor at a Kenyan hospital to forge medical documents, in a bid to mislead the anti-doping body.
“The AIU has banned Titus Ekiru (Kenya) for 10 years, from 28 June 2022, for the Presence of Prohibited Substances (Triamcinolone Acetonide and metabolite; Pethidine and metabolite) and for Tampering," AIU’s communique read.
AIU went on to state that the athlete tested positive for doping drugs during two international races that he won, the Generali Milano Marathon on 16 May 2021 and the Abu Dhabi Marathon on 26 November 2021.
The ban runs from June 28, 2022( the date Ekiru was suspended) to June 27, 2032.
Ekiru’s results on and since 16 May 2021 have been disqualified, resulting in the forfeiture of all prizes and money.
“Ekiru’s victory in the Generali Milano Marathon would have made him the sixth-fastest marathoner of all time,” AIU stated.
In July 2023, the marathoner was charged with the Presence of a Prohibited Substance, according to the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), and attempting to tamper with AIU investigation.
AIU in conjunction with Kenya’s Anti-Doping Agency acquired the marathoner’s hospital records which revealed inconsistencies in Ekiru’s explanations and supporting documentation on the findings of his urine tests.
He claimed that prescribed medications for injury treatments were what presented as prohibited substances in the tests.
“Deeper investigation unearthed Ekiru’s collusion with a senior doctor in Nandi County from whom, on two occasions (29 April 2021 and 6 May 2021), the athlete received injections of triamcinolone acetonide during undocumented hospital visits,” the athletics integrity body elaborated.
While Ekiru’s accomplice, the doctor, claimed that the athlete’s hospital visits were not recorded due to the fact that "he attended early in the morning, before the registration offices had opened”, a testimony from the Nandi County Director of Medical Services proved otherwise.
It was revealed that the medical documents detailing the athlete’s visits on 29 April 2021 and 6 May 2021 were fabricated, on June 16, 2021 and backdated.
Further, the hospital did not stock the said ‘injury medication’ nor was it dispensed on the dates indicated.
Consequently, AIU concluded that athlete was guilty of both the doping and tampering charges.