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Albert Rop, Asian Games silver medallist, banned for doping

Nairobi, March 28 (IANS) Asian Games 5,000m silver medallist Albert Rop, who ditched his Kenyan passport to run for Bahrain, has been banned from competition for two years on doping-related charges.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday that Rop had failed to provide his whereabouts on October 7, 2018 after he did not update his information and thus missed a planned test, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The AIU asserted that the athlete had failed to accurately update his whereabouts information in relation to a competition that he had participated in the Singelloop Utrecht 10km race road in the Netherland,” read an AIU statement.

In August last year, Rop’s manager Mark Corstjens wrote to the AIU and included the athlete’s letter requesting a review of the decision to record the missed test.

“In the letter, he stated that in order to avoid fatigue with flights ‘up and down to Nairobi’, he had decided to stay in Europe and travel straight to Belgium to prepare for his next race. The athlete additionally stated that “We did the necessary communication about the changed whereabouts, but it seems it did not reach you very clear.”

“I understand that this may have led to confusion. That is probably also the reason why he called my number and my agents. Nevertheless, none of us received the call.”

In its ruling, AIU has since banned the athlete for a period of ineligibility of two years commencing on September 24, 2019.

“The athlete’s results stand disqualified from April 11 to September 24, with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money,” said the AIU.

The athlete has a right to appeal the decision.

A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report in September 2018 said 138 Kenyan athletes had tested positive for doping irregularities from 2004 to August 2018.

–IANS

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