Boston, Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo fails drug test

Rita Jeptoo
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Rita Jeptoo, the two-time reigning Boston and Chicago Marathon winner, tested positive for a banned substance from a late September sample, according to RunBlogRun.

Jeptoo’s manager, Federico Rosa, confirmed Friday that he’s been informed her A sample tested positive but would not say more. Her B sample hasn’t been tested, according to the RunBlogRun report.

“I’m definitely confused,” said Claudio Berardelli, Jeptoo’s coach. “I’m trying to analyze it in my mind, what I’ve seen in training, what I’ve seen in races.”

Jeptoo tested positive for EPO but denied taking any drugs, according to Agence France-Presse.

Jeptoo, 33, repeated as Chicago Marathon winner on Oct. 12, following her third Boston Marathon title April 21. Jeptoo was not entered in the New York City Marathon, which goes Sunday.

She clinched the award given to world’s best marathoner this year, bestowed by the World Marathon Majors. The award ceremony scheduled for Sunday has been postponed.

The World Marathon Majors organization said it has a rule that no athlete can win its annual title if they’ve breached anti-doping rules. Also, any athlete found guilty of doping will not be invited back to its races.

“WMM has always held a stern line on drugs cheats and has been proactively supporting the sports governing bodies to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races,” it said in a statement. “Cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught.”

In April, three-time Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova received a two-year doping ban due to abnormal levels on her biological passport. The Russian is the second-fastest women’s marathoner of all time, behind Paula Radcliffe.

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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