The 27-year-old has been charged with “whereabouts failures”

Elijah Manangoi, who won 1500m gold for Kenya at the 2017 World Championships in London, has been provisionally suspended for “whereabouts failures”, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has announced.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, athletes are required to submit their whereabouts for one hour every day, plus overnight accommodation and training information, in case they are needed for out-of-competition testing.

An athlete is said to have violated anti-doping rules if they have any combination of three missed tests or filing failures within a 12-month period, starting on the day of the first relevant missed test or filing failure.

According to the BBC, Manangoi posted a response on his Facebook page, stating: “News of my suspension by the AIU for three missed tests is really devastating for me and I’m trying to get my head round it.

“What I can say is each of the missed tests happened during 2019, my case has nothing to do with prohibited substances and I’ve always competed as a clean athlete.

“Last year was the worst period of my career when I was upset through injury which impacted everything on and off the track.

“I know I’ve let people down, in particular my coach and fellow athletes, and I also know that no matter what I say here I’ll be criticised.

“The facts of the cases are clear in my mind and I’m sure there will be a time when it is appropriate to go into more detail.

“But right now I’m focused on compiling a formal response to the AIU so won’t be commenting further.”

Manangoi claimed world 1500m silver in Beijing in 2015, two years before his gold medal win in London, but missed the 2019 event in Doha due to injury.

He also won the 2018 Commonwealth 1500m title on the Gold Coast.

The AIU made four other announcements on Thursday, with Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi and Mercy Kibarus handed bans of two years and eight years respectively, and Patrick Siele provisionally suspended “for evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection”.

The unit added that Kazakhstani hurdler Natalya Ivoninskaya has been banned for two years “for the presence of a prohibited substance following retesting of her samples from London 2012”. Her performances between August 6, 2012, to August 5, 2014, are disqualified.

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