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Barsosio to forfeit hefty prize win after ban by AIU

Agnes Barsosio with a dummy cheque after winning the Nairobi City Marathon. PHOTO/Courtesy
Agnes Barsosio with a dummy cheque after winning the Nairobi City Marathon. PHOTO/Courtesy
  • Barsosio has been suspended for five years for doping
  • All her results from May 9, 2022 have been nullified
  • She is set to forfeit any prizes she won as from May 9, 2022

Agnes Barsosio is set to forfeit the Sh6mn she won at the 2022 Nairobi City Marathon and the title as well, after she was slapped with a five-year suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for an antidoping rule violation.

Barsosio had been provisionally suspended earlier on in the year, but upon hearing, the AIU independent panel has handed her a five year ban for an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation.

She has been given an initial four-year ban for the ABP violation and added a further two years for the use of a prohibited substance. However, upon her admission of the doping case, the 41-year old has one year reduced from her suspension.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), 12 blood samples were taken from the athlete between July 10, 2013 and November 30, 2022.

“The Passport generated an Atypical Passport Finding in the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) which was submitted by the Athlete Passport Management Unit (“APMU”) for a two-step review on an anonymous basis, first by a single Expert and then for a further review by three Experts (an Expert Panel),” a statement from the AIU stated.

It added; “Following the review of the Passport in accordance with Articles C.3 and C.4 of the ISRM, the Expert Panel identified abnormalities in the blood samples as features of blood manipulation in preparation for competition, in particular, variations in blood samples collected in May 2022 (shortly following the Athlete’s participation in a marathon in Nairobi, Kenya), August 2022, and late October and early November 2022 (within two weeks of a planned marathon competition).”

Likely doping in blood samples

“The Expert Panel confirmed their unanimous opinion of “Likely Doping” in the Athlete’s case in a Joint Expert Panel Opinion dated 23 April 2023 (the “First Joint Opinion”).”

The AIU informed the 41-year old of the findings and she returned an admission form, admitting to the Anti-Doping charges forwarded to her, after she was notified of the charges on May 4, 2023. She consequently did not register to defend her Nairobi City Marathon title.

She had given a written explanation to justify the inconsistencies in her passport, explaining the abnormalities in the Passport by altitude changes (within Kenya), irregular menstruation, irregular training and irregular diet, specifically in relation to iron-rich foods.

However, upon review, the independent AIU panel concluded on likely doping by the athlete and the irregularities in the Passport were possibly down to the use of a prohibited substance or method (blood doping).

Provided evidence of use of drugs 

“The AIU considered that the Passport provided evidence of the Athlete’s Use of a Prohibited Substance (an erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA) such as recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) or a Prohibited Method on multiple occasions,” said AIU in a statement.

She becomes yet another Kenyan slapped with a suspension by the AIU over doping, even as the government continues to put in measures to curb the vice that has threatened to soil the entire legacy of Kenyan athletics globally.

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