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Wilson Kipsang, former marathon world-record holder, banned 4 years

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Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder and Kenyan Olympic bronze medalist, was banned four years for whereabouts failures — not being available for drug testing — and providing false evidence in his case.

Kipsang had been provisionally banned in January in the case handled by the Athletics Integrity Unit, track and field’s doping watchdog organization. Athletes must provide doping officials with locations to be available for out-of-competition testing. Three missed tests in a 12-month span can lead to a suspension.

Kipsang, 38, received a four-year ban backdated to Jan. 10, when the provisional suspension was announced. His results since April 12, 2019, the date of his third whereabouts failure in a 12-month span, have been annulled. He is eligible to appeal. The full decision is here.

Kipsang won major marathons in New York City, London, Berlin and Tokyo between 2012 and 2017.

He lowered the world record to 2:03:23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, a mark that stood for one year until countryman Dennis Kimetto took it to 2:02:57 in Berlin. Another Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, lowered it to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Kipsang, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, last won a top-level marathon in Tokyo in 2017. He was third at the 2018 Berlin Marathon and 12th at his last marathon in London in April 2019, a result now disqualified.

Other Kenyan distance-running stars have been banned in recent years.

Rita Jeptoo had Boston and Chicago Marathon titles stripped, and Jemima Sumgong was banned after winning the Rio Olympic marathon after both tested positive for EPO. Asbel Kiprop, a 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017.

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Conseslus Kipruto, Olympic champ, and homemade steeplechase training

Conseslus Kipruto
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Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto‘s unorthodox brand of training for an unorthodox event is coming in handy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, doesn’t train with a steeplechase barrier or a water pit, even during normal times.

Now at home, he set up what appear to be furniture cushions to hurdle. And a mostly drained pool to mimic the water jump, shown in a BBC video.

Kipruto, a 25-year-old raised with four siblings by a single mom, reportedly built the backyard pool to aqua jog while recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot last year.

He was known to do his regular training in Mosoriot not on a track, but a grass field where dirt lanes have been carved out by foot tread of thousands of laps.

Kipruto is the latest king from a Kenyan steeple dynasty, but his origin story may be one of a kind. After playing soccer growing up, he tried track at the urging of his uncle Cleophus. As a 1500m runner, he missed making a two-man team by placing third at a county championships. The trials didn’t include a steeple for lack of barriers, so they asked for volunteers.

“I was the first to put my hand up because I was keen to compete at that next level,” Kipruto said in 2018, according to World Athletics. “Even though I ran barefoot and I had never jumped a steeplechase barrier, I won my very first steeplechase race.”

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David Rudisha set back again in track return

David Rudisha
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David Rudisha, the two-time Olympic champion and world-record holder at 800m, will miss another three months of training after fracturing a left ankle and requiring surgery.

Rudisha was injured walking on uneven ground at his rural Kenya home, according to his manager’s Twitter account. The surgery put a tubular plate and screws into the ankle, according to the tweets.

“Rehabilitation will start as soon as doctors think is fit,” was tweeted from manager Michel Boeting‘s account.

Rudisha, 31, last raced July 4, 2017. Since, he missed time after a quad muscle strain, back problems and, in 2019, his car collided with a bus, causing minor injuries. It’s unknown if he will miss any significant races given the coronavirus pandemic halted top-level track and field meets until at least mid-August.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

In his absence, American Donavan Brazier emerged as the world’s best 800m runner, sweeping the 2019 World and Diamond League titles.

Brazier, 23, can become the first American to win an Olympic 800m since Dave Wottle did so wearing a hat in Munich in 1972.

“I think the target’s on my back just because I won 2019, but it’s definitely not as big of a target as [Rudisha] had on his back post-2012,” Brazier said in February. “I’m not thinking that I’m like this David Rudisha takeover, because I’m not really damn near close to his times, but I think, for now, I’ve got that small target on my back. I guess I’m just trying to make it as big as possible.”

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