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Kenyan sprinter Mike Otieno among three slapped with doping bans

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Mark Otieno has suspended from Tokyo Olympics
Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno
  • Mark Otieno was suspended after a positive test at the Tokyo Olympics
  • He has been given a two-year ban after supplements he took were laced with banned drugs
  • Alice Kimutai, Johnstone Maiyo also banned

Kenyan sprinter and former 100m national record holder Mark Otieno has been handed a two-year suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit for a positive test for banned substances just before last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

Otieno had been initially suspended on the eve of his Olympics debut and after a push and pull of almost one year, a verdict has been passed on him and he will be suspended until 2023, with the sentence dated back to the date of his positive test.

According to the AIU, Otieno’s samples tested positive for the presence of Methasterone, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency at all times.

He made an explanation that the supplements he was using were laced with the banned substance and a test by the WADA accredited laboratories confirmed his allegation.

First sample taken in Tokyo

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Ferdinand Omanyala and Mark Otieno finishing in qualifying time at the national trials

A first sample taken out of competition before the Olympic Games returned a positive test. The athlete, who was dreaming of competing at the Olympic Games requested for a B sample to be taken and once again, it also returned a positive test.

According to the AIU, Otieno requested that all supplements he was using to be subjected to tests. The first set of supplements did not return any positive testes for banned substances, but the second, named Amino Hardcore, which he purchased from a shop in Nairobi, returned positive testes of Methasterone.

“On 21 February 2022, the Athlete confirmed that his position was that no period of Ineligibility should be imposed upon him pursuant to Article 10.6.1(b) ADR, but that he was open to discussion, on a without prejudice basis, in accordance with Article 10.8.2 ADR, if that would provide an expedited route for determining the matter,” the AIU says in its ruling.

It further adds; “Between 25 February and 22 April 2022, the AIU sought and obtained further information from the Athlete. Following review of all information given, the parties entered into without prejudice discussions concerning the potential determination of this matter.”

It is with this in mind that Otieno has received a lesser ban of two years, as opposed to the standard four year ban.

Tirelessly trying to prove innocence 

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Mark Otieno receives a Sh1mn sponsorship from Safaricom

“After many months of tirelessly fighting to prove that I did not intentionally dope, the truth has finally come out. I was a victim of bad manufacturing practices and I paid dearly for that. The supplements that I had taken were contaminated with undisclosed banned substances which led to me failing a drug test,” Otieno said in a statement later after the ruling was announced.

He added; “I accept the reduced consequence of 2 years of ineligibility with credit to time served.”

Meanwhile, two other Kenyans, Alice Kimutai and Johnstone Maiyo have also been handed varied bans for positive drugs test, coming at a time when the noose is tightening on the country in the fight against doping.

Kimutai has been slapped with a four year ban for the presence of Testosterone in her sample taken out of competition on September 20 this year. According to the AIU, the 30-year old athlete returned an admission form and hence slapped with the ban.

Maiyo, 34, has also been banned for four years after admission of an Anti Doping Rule Violation, after his samples tested positive for the infamous erythropoietin (EPO).

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