Lawrence Cherono banned for seven years for doping and tampering – AW

    The 2019 Boston and Chicago Marathon winner admitted to three anti-doping rule violations

    Lawrence Cherono, a two-time major marathon champion and the former world No.1 over 26.2 miles, has been banned for seven years for doping and tampering.

    The 35-year-old admitted to three anti-doping rule violations, including tampering for attempting to mislead the investigation.

    Cherono, who has a personal best of 2:03:04 in the marathon and is 12th on the world all-time list, was suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in 2022 after testing positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, in an out-of-competition test.

    He has now received a four-year ban for the positive test and was given another four years by the AIU for the tampering offence. However, as Cherono admitted to the violations, he has been given a one-year reduction to his ban.

    In addition to Boston and Chicago, Cherono has won marathons in Seville, Valencia, Prague, Honolulu and Amsterdam.

    Lawrence Cherono (Amsterdam Marathon)

    The AIU said: “In attempting to explain the positive test, Cherono initially said he had been given the antibiotic Erythromycin and was also injected with an unknown substance by a doctor to treat stomach problems, but then also attempted to implicate his training colleagues for the failed test, claiming they were ‘jealous of his success’.

    “However, in a subsequent written statement, Cherono said he had been inadvertently given Trimetazidine in the form of Carvidon tablets by his wife – instead of the painkillers he had requested – to treat muscle pain following training on 22 May 2022. According to the runner, his wife had been prescribed the Trimetazidine four days earlier at a medical centre.

    “To support his explanation, Cherono provided a laboratory request from the medical centre, including hand-written details of medications prescribed for his wife, along with a photograph of the underside of tablets enclosed in their blister packaging. In collaboration with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), further investigations into the laboratory request and additional medical documents provided by Cherono as proof of his wife’s treatment at the medical centre, revealed “several inconsistencies”.

    “Following a request from ADAK to the medical centre in November 2022 for additional information to verify the documents independently, the clinic director confirmed in December 2022 that they ‘were not genuine/official documents from the clinic and that the information they contained was not true and accurate’.

    “Following this development, the AIU said its investigation into Cherono’s explanation and the submitted documents ‘was materially obstructed and substantially undermined’, with repeated attempts to obtain copies of medical records to corroborate the runner’s wife’s alleged medical treatment proving unsuccessful. After its attempts to secure the wife’s medical records were repeatedly impeded, the AIU – through ADAK – gained a court order in Kenya compelling the medical centre to surrender the documents. In response, the medical centre said there were no records available for any treatment to the athlete’s wife since May 1, 2022.”

    Lawrence Cherono (Chicago Marathon)

    On June 26, 2024, Cherono admitted to the violations in a signed letter to the AIU, marking the end of the two-year investigation.

    “This decision is testament to the tireless and persistent efforts of the AIU in investigating doping and the explanations provided for positive tests,” said AIU Head, Brett Clothier.

    “Since its inception, the AIU has remained steadfast in its commitment to clean sport, and this decision sends a strong signal to drug cheats that the AIU will leave no stone unturned in carrying out its mandate.”

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