Rhonex Kipruto, Kenya distance running star, gets suspended, denies doping

Rhonex Kipruto
Rhonex Kipruto

Kenyan distance runner Rhonex Kipruto, a world championships medalist and world record holder, was provisionally suspended in a doping case involving his biological passport and later denied cheating.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping cases in track and field, announced that Kipruto was charged with the use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method related to his biological passport.

An athlete’s biological passport tracks their blood values over a long period to monitor for possible signs of doping, even if they never test positive for a banned substance.

Provisional suspensions can be issued while awaiting a hearing on charges to determine an official punishment, if any.

“I don’t cheat or dope!” was posted on Kipruto’s social media after the announcement. “The truth is on my side. This is all I can say.”

A 4,000-word press release linked from Kipruto’s social media stated that Kipruto was informed “of alleged inconsistencies, which date back to autumn 2018, in blood values.”

It also stated that Kipruto was drug tested more than 50 times from July 2018 to March 2022, and he never tested positive for a banned substance.

Kipruto, then 19, took bronze in the 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships, becoming the youngest man to earn a world medal in that event since 1991, according to Bill Mallon of He then placed ninth in the event at the Tokyo Olympics.

He also broke the world record in the road 10km in 2020 and won two other prestigious road races last year — the NYC Half marathon and the Peachtree Road Race 10km in Atlanta.

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