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Elijah Manangoi, world 1500m champion, banned through Tokyo Olympics

Elijah Manangoi

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Elijah Motonei Manangoi of Kenya celebrates as he crosses the line to win gold ahead of Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya in the Men’s 1500 metres final during athletics on day 10 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 14, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Elijah Manangoi, the 2017 World 1500m champion, was banned for two years, through the Tokyo Olympics, for missing drug tests.

Manangoi, 27, was provisionally suspended in July after missing three tests from July 2019 to December 2019. The suspension, backdated to the last missed test on Dec. 22, is appealable. A full report from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is here.

Three missed tests in a 12-month span can lead to a suspension of one to two years, even if an athlete has never tested positive.

“It seems simple but a slight mistake can be costly at the end,” was reportedly posted on Manangoi’s social media. “It’s shameful. I’m a clean athlete, and I will be back on track and win right.”

The AIU decided that Manangoi did not merit a reduction from the maximum two-year ban, which could have kept him eligible for the Olympics, based on his degree of fault.

Manangoi was unable to defend his world title in 2019 due to injury. Since July 2017, he is the only man to defeat Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot in the 1500m, doing so five times. Cheruiyot won the 2019 World title and is the Olympic favorite.

Other Kenyan distance-running stars have been banned in recent years for anti-doping violations.

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.

In October, Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon winner, was last month banned four years over abnormalities in his biological passport.

In July, Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder, was banned four years after missing drug tests.

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