Kipyegon Bett tested positive for EPO
Kipyegon Bett from Kenya competes as a 800 meter specialist has been suspended for 4 years after testing positive for 2 different substances duringa recent test. Bett refused to provide a urine sample at first, however after testing he tested positive for the blood boosting drug erythropoeitin (EPO).
Franklin Rono, the doping control officer (DCO) employed by the International Association of Athletics Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU), arrived at Bett’s home to collect a urine sample on February 24, 2018. Bett met Rono but did not trust him and was “very suspicious” of him. As a result, Bett refused to comply with the sample collection process.
The refusal or failure to submit to sample collection is, in and of itself, considered a ADVR under the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules. Refusing to provide a sample is no different than testing positive for a prohibited drug.
Bett did eventually provide a sample when a DCO showed up to collect an out-of-competition urine sample on July 31, 2018. The sample was sent to a WADA-approved laboratory for analysis and showed the presence of recombinant EPO. In spite of the evidence, Bett strongly denied ever using EPO.
Bett is the latest in a very long list of Kenyan athletes to test positive for anabolic steroids and other prohibited performance-enhancing drugs. The Wold Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reported that 138 athletes from Kenya tested positive between January 2004 and August 2018.
EPO is the third most popular banned drug to be use by those Kenyan athletes who were caught. The most popular banned drug was the anabolic steroid nandrolone (Deca Durabolin). Approximately 50 Kenyan athletes tested positive for nandrolone followed by approximately 18 positives for corticosteroids.