Kenya’s 2014 world U20 800m champion is suspended for whereabouts failures

Almost a year to the day since 800m runner Alfred Kipketer was provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures, the Kenyan has been officially handed a two-year ban.

He missed drugs tests on November 27 in 2018 plus March 16, August 5 and September 11 in 2019. He did not challenge the first two nor the final missed test decision, but for the crucial third test he argued that he had to rush to Nairobi for an “emergency”, which he subsequently explained was his son being hospitalised with a fever, vomiting and dizziness.

However the Athletics Integrity Unit decided the athlete had enough time to alter his whereabouts information. For each of the tests he was not where he was supposed to be and his ban will now last until November 26, 2021, which means he will be eligible to return for major championships in 2022.

Kipketer has a colourful racing history. At the World Under-18 Championships in 2013 he blasted through the first lap of the 800m in a phenomenal 48.63 and faded dramatically but still managed to hold off Britain’s Kyle Langford to win in 1:48.01.

Amid doubts about his date of birth, he won the world under-20 title in 2014 at the apparent age of 17. He later employed his trademark fast first lap in the Olympic final in 2016 although he faded to seventh on that occasion.

However shortly after those Games he ran a PB of 1:42.87 to win the Paris Diamond League.

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