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Another Kenyan trail winner caught doping, who went the extra mile with a double trap only ‘within reach’ of African athletes

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Sunday, January 28, 2024

More and more Kenyan athletes are staking their careers on getting a check of just over 1,000 euros

Another Kenyan trail race winner is caught doping, and he went one better with a double cheat only ‘within reach’ of African athletes

Only Kenyans are capable of double cheating in today’s running. They are caught doping and instead of withdrawing from races, they double the bet, participate in another race and win it. So the penalty is aggravated, but they don’t care too much. Their need to make money any way they can is above their sporting ethics.

“European athletes are surprised by the way Kenyan athletes put their careers on the line to win 1,000 euros, but for them it solves their problems for a whole year,” admits an anti-doping official.

Doping is currently a real epidemic that continues to grow. Hundreds of long-distance runners are taking numerous substances in the face of the laxity of the authorities, who do not have sufficient resources to prosecute so many cheats. Among those cheaters are some who go the extra mile, such as James Karanja.

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Earlier this month, Kenyan marathon runner James Karanja was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for the use of a banned substance at the 2023 Kuching Marathon in Malaysia. Now, Karanja could face an even more severe sanction, as he was found to have competed in and won the Tropical Rainforest Run, a treail running half marathon in Tawau Hills (Malaysia) a week ago.

According to the AIU, Karanja tested positive for norandrosterone during an in-competition test at the 2023 Kuching Marathon, where he finished fourth and walked away with prize money. Norandrosterone is a metabolite of the anabolic steroid nandrolone that is used to enhance performance, increase muscle mass and speed recovery.

All Kenyans’ results under suspicion

All athletes are banned from competing during a provisional suspension while the IUA investigates the case. Even if Karanja is found not guilty of norandrosterone use, he could face up to a four-year ban for competing while suspended.

Karanja was notified by the AIU of his suspension on October 6 and the World Athletics-sponsored organization made it public in early November. According to the race website, the deadline to register was before his suspension was made public, but a considerable time after Karanja was notified.

The Kenyan, who resides in Southeast Asia, won the 21.1 km trail race with 800 m of vertical drop in two hours and six minutes. For his victory he received 3,000 Malaysian ringgit which is approximately 700 euro.

The multiplication of positive cases of Kenyan athletes puts the organizers of races of all kinds in a dilemma, as all victories and marks are under suspicion until the results of the anti-doping tests are known. Athletics lives under a cloak of lies that detracts from its credibility and damages its prestige.