World Athletics 2023 WA vs Rhonex Kipruto

In April 2022 an Expert Panel of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) concluded unanimously in their Joint Expert Opinion that the hematological profile of the Kenyan Athlete Rhonex Kipruto “highly likely” showed that he had used a prohibited substance or a prohibited method: the use of EPO or Blood doping. 

This conclusion of the AIU Expert Panel was based on assessment of blood samples, collected in the period from 9 July 2018 until 15 March 2022 reported in the Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). 

After notification the Athlete submitted multiple explanations with documentation for the abnormal values in his ABP. However after consideration the Expert Panel rejected the Athlete’s explanations and arguments in their 2nd (August 2022), 3rd (May 2023) and 4th (February 2024) Joint Expert Opinions.

Consequently in May 2023 the AIU, on behalf of World Athletics, reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Athlete. Following notification a provisional suspension was ordered and the Athlete was heard for the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal. 

The AIU deems that the abnormalities in the Athlete's ABP were caused by a prohibited method and that he failed to demonstrate that the violation was not intentional.

Further the AIU contended that there are aggravating circumstances present in this case because the Athlete had used blood doping for more than 3 years and he had been engaged in a deliberate and sophisticated doping regime.

The Athlete denied the charges and claimed that the abnormalities in his ABP are due to natural and specific characteristics of his body and other circumstances like alcohol consumption and medical conditions. Moreover he relied on de validity of sample 2; genetic disorder; alcohol abuse; and the model presented by his expert witness.

The Panel assessed and addressed the evidence and issues raised by the Parties and determines:

  • World Athletics has discharged its burden of proof and established that the Athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation.
  • The abnormalities in the Athlete's ABP are more likely caused by blood manipulation, rather than from evironmental or medical factors.
  • There was evidence that the Athlete was engaged in a deliberate and sophisticated doping regime.
  • There are aggravating circumstances present in this case that justifies the imposition of a more severe sanction.

Therefore the Panel decides on 28 May 2024 to impose a 6 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete, starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 11 May 2023.

Original document


Legal Source
Decisions International Federations
28 May 2024
Adjovi, Sètondji Roland
Berenger, Julien
Haug, Tanja
Original Source
World Athletics (WA)
Use / attempted use
Legal Terms
Aggravating circumstances
Burdens and standards of proof
Case law / jurisprudence
Circumstantial evidence
Multiple violations
Period of ineligibility
Athletics (WA) - World Athletics
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Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)
Doping classes
M1. Manipulation Of Blood And Blood Components
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Erythropoietin (EPO)
Medical terms
Blood doping
Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
Doping culture
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Date generated
10 June 2024
Date of last modification
3 July 2024
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