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January 17, 2019

Under the radar?

Julius Yego in action during the national trials last month /ENOS TECHE
Julius Yego in action during the national trials last month /ENOS TECHE

London-bound trio of world champions Asbel Kiprop and Julius Yego alongside world silver medallist Helah Kiprop are among over 40 athletes named to have returned suspicious Athletes Biological Passport in leaked IAAF documents obtained by Hack Team, Fancy Bear.

Yego (javelin), Asbel (1500) and Helah (marathon) are named alongside an elite runners list that has Silas Kiplagat (1500m), Geoffrey Mutai (marathon), Mathew Kisorio (road runner), Wilson Kwambai (marathon) and Janeth Jepkosgei (800m).

The list also has multiple Olympic and world champion Mo Farah of Great Britain and his Nike Project training mate, Galen Rupp (United States), Evan Jager (United States), Meseret Defar (Ethiopia), Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) and Kenyan-born Turk Ozbilen Tanui.

Asbel and Yego returned ‘passport suspicious, further data is required’ verdicts while Helah had a ‘likely doping, likely medical condition, passport suspicious, further data is required’ verdict.

The two world champions insisted of no wrong doing and revealed that they are waiting for further direction from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“I have never boosted,” said Asbel. “The ABP is quite a challenge for athletes since, like in my case, the sample was analysed at a time when I was off season, where taking into consideration one’s diet is mostly out of question. I know myself and the kind of results I produce during on and off-season and while at high and low attitude.”

Yego observed: “It caught me by surprise. I don’t know what to say. All I can do is wait for Wada to shed more light on these revelations.”

Helah, who is in the Team Kenya marathon camp in Naibei, claimed she was unaware of the list.

“I am not aware about that list. I am busy in my training for the World Championships,” said Helah, insisting: “I am clean. I am even surprised that I am in such a list.”

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei called on athletes not to be distracted by the hacked list but instead continue with their training as they await further guidance from the IAAF.

“For athletes mentioned in today’s article, we are in touch with IAAF and would like to advise all not to make any conclusions at this stage. We shall continue to follow up and advise when any other development is received. For now, continue with your normal training. Good luck.”

An IAAF spokesperson told the Guardian on Wednesday: “We are looking into this. It does appear to be information from the cyber-attack which the IAAF announced on April 3, 2017 had taken place.”

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