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With Reports Of Doping, World Marathon Majors Postpones Awards Ceremony

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.
Timothy Clary
AFP/Getty Images
Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.

The World Marathon Majors has put its awards ceremony on hold because one of the sport's star athletes has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance.

The Majors, which was going to crown a champion on Sunday, wrote on its Facebook page that it was "disappointed to learn that Rita Jeptoo has apparently had an A test that proved positive for a banned substance under IAAF rules."

Jeptoo, from Kenya, was by far the leader in the series, which consists of the Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York City marathons. Going into New York this weekend, she led her compatriot Edna Kiplagat 100 to 65 points.

The AP spoke to Jeptoo's agent. It reports:

"Federico Rosa told The Associated Press that Jeptoo tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test in Kenya weeks before she won a second straight Chicago Marathon title on Oct. 12.

'This is true,' Rosa said in a telephone interview.

"Rosa said Jeptoo's 'A' sample had tested positive and they were waiting for her backup 'B' sample to be tested. Rosa declined to name the substance.

"Rosa said he had learned of the positive test 'a few days ago.'

" 'We will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this,' Rosa said, adding Jeptoo's management had 'nothing to do with' any doping. 'I am sorry for Rita.' "

RunBlogRun, which first broke the story, reports that Jeptoo tested positive at the end of September and just before she won her second straight Chicago Marathon.

The Majors said it is now awaiting a decision by the sports governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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