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.