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2-time Peachtree Road Race winner, world record holder banned for doping

Kenyan runner Rhonex Kipruto, 24, has been stripped of his world record in men’s 10-kilometer road racing and banned for six years in a doping case.

A disciplinary panel ruled that abnormalities in Kipruto’s blood samples pointed to “a deliberate and sophisticated doping regime” and Kipruto likely had help from unknown third parties. At the time, he was aiming to qualify for the last Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The panel imposed a six-year ban because of what it deemed the “aggravating circumstances” in the case, up from a standard four-year doping ban.

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Kipruto was disqualified from all of his results since September 2018, meaning he loses a world championship bronze medal in the 10,000 meters from 2019 and his 10k road record from 2020.

In 2019 and 2022, Kipruto won the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.

He broke the record in 2019, at just 19 years old, when he finished the 10k race in 27 minutes and one second. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was, at the time, the fastest 10k ever run on American soil.

The Peachtree Road Race stripped Kipruto of his course record. The course record reverts back to Joseph Kimani, who won in 27 minutes, four seconds in 1996.

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The panel said Kipruto’s defense sought to blame illnesses, irregular training habits and his alcohol use, which it said had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kipruto also sought to dispute the validity of some blood samples in the case.

A statement on Kipruto’s website dated Tuesday and attributed to unnamed legal counsel indicated he is considering an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. “Despite exhaustive efforts to present comprehensive medical evidence and expert testimonies, the ruling failed to consider crucial aspects of Rhonex’s health and circumstances,” the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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