Nairobi — Kenyan runner Lilian Kasait has been handed a 10-month ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for use of a prohibited substance.
Kasait, who represented Kenya in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, is alleged to have used letrozole, a substance that helps reduce the ‘feminising’ side effects of steroid use in male athletes.
“The athlete provided a sample Out-of-Competition during a doping control conducted on behalf of the Athletics Integrity Unit of World Athletics, which resulted in an adverse analytical finding for Letrozole. She acknowledges that she committed an anti-doping rule violation under Rule 2.1 and 2.2 of anti-doping rules,” the agency said in a statement.
Because the 2017 World Cross Country bronze medalist owned up to the crime, AIU has further decided to backdate her ban all the way to April 19 this year – in addition to voiding all her race results this year.
“Taking into consideration how promptly the athlete admitted to the violation upon notification in the specific circumstances of this case, the parties agree that the period of Ineligibility shall be backdated so the she will serve one-half of the 10- month period i.e., five months from September 19,” AIU said.
The agency added: “The Athlete’s competitive results from 20 January 2022 are disqualified with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prize money/prizes.”
The 2018 Zagreb IWC 3000m champion is not expected to appeal the ban following the agreement between the two parties.
Kasait’s last race was at the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic in September last year where she finished third in the women’s 5000m.
Her ban comes hot on the heels of the four-month ban of another Kenyan runner, Vane Nyaboke, a fortnight ago for the use of the prohibited substance norandrosterone.
Norandrosterone is a substance that helps users quickly build their muscle strength and mass as well as speed up their recovery process from an injury.
Last month, Maiyo Johnstone Kibet and Michael Njenga were suspended provisionally for the alleged use of EPO and norandrosterone respectively.
On the eve of the men’s marathon at the World Championships in Oregon, 2019 Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono was also provisionally suspended for testing positive for trimetazidine – a drug that enhances blood flow and improves endurance in athletes.