IAAF 2019 IAAF vs Sarah Chepchirchir

In February 2019 the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Kenyan Athlete Sarah Chepchirchir after an IAAF Expert Panel concluded unanimously in November 2018 in their Joint Expert Opinion that the Athlete’s hematological profile “highly likely” showed that she used a prohibited substance or a prohibited method: the use of EPO or Blood doping. This conclusion of the IAAF Expert Panel was based on assessment of blood samples, collected in the period from 23 February 2017 until 12 September 2018 reported in the Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP).

After notification the Athlete submitted an explanation to the IAAF about the circumstances surrounding the collected samples. However after consideration the Expert Panel rejected the Athlete’s explanations in January 2019 in their second joint report. A provisional suspension was ordered and the Athlete was heard for the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Athlete denied the violation and asserted, supported by an expert witness, that the values in her ABP could be explained as a result of high altitude training, the use of iron supplementation or the temperature difference of Sample 10.

Based on the evidence the Sole Arbitrator is comfortably satisfied that the abnormalities in Samples 9 and 10 could not have been caused by the Athlete’s residence and training at high altitude, with iron supplementation, whether considered “as a whole” or separately.
The Sole Arbitrator accepts that temperature increase of Sample 10 during transportation remained within de WADA approved limits and that the HGB would not suffer from a change of temperature.

The Sole Arbitrator concludes to his comfortable satisfaction that the IAAF has discharged its burden of proof and established that the Athlete has committed an intentional anti-doping rule violation.
Therefore on 28 November 2019 the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal decides to impose a 4 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 6 February 2019.

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Legal Source
Decisions International Federations
28 November 2019
Fortier, Yves
Original Source
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
World Athletics (WA)
Adverse Analytical Finding / presence
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M1. Manipulation Of Blood And Blood Components
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Erythropoietin (EPO)
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Blood doping
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