Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto has been found to have biological passport irregularities according to the Athlete Integrity Unit

Rhonex Kipruto, the world record-holder for 10km, has been provisionally suspended for biological passport irregularities.

The 23-year-old Kenyan clocked 26:24 in Valencia in January 2020 to set the still-standing world record. It came four months after he won world 10,000m bronze in Doha.

Kipruto has been charged with “Use of a Prohibited Substance/Method” due to suspicious blood readings.

“I don’t cheat or dope! The truth is on my side. This is all I can say,” said Kipruto via a statement from his management agency.

Rhonex Kipruto (10km Valencia Ibercaja)

One of the sport’s brightest distance running talents, he won the world under-20 10,000m title in Tampere in 27:21.08 and has a track best of 26:50.16, which was set in Stockholm in 2019.

More recently he was fourth in a 10km in Germany last month in 27:09 and placed fourth in the Lisbon Half Marathon in March in 59:22. His results in 2022 included victory in the NYC Half in 60:30.

Kipruto’s manager, Davor Savija, has issued a lengthy statement defending the athlete and describing him as a “multi-generation talent”.

Savija says his agency has spent $30,000 on the case so far and adds: “This is injustice. We will, of course, fully cooperate and be totally transparent. We urge the AIU to do the same.”

Rhonex Kipruto (RunCzech)

Kipruto is also coached by Brother Colm O’Connell, the well-known Kenyan-based coach, who says: “I carefully choose who I work with and to whom I dedicate my energy. I know Rhonex is an honest young man and it hurts me to see him suffering now.

“Our strategy is to train hard, and that’s the only way we achieve results. I have said many times that I am in favour of systematically combating doping so that we can protect clean athletes like Rhonex.” 

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