Marathon Runner Cherono Given Seven-year Doping Ban

Kenyan marathon runner Lawrence Cherono has been given a seven-year ban for breaching anti-doping rules.

The 35-year-old was given four years for testing positive for a banned substance, plus four more for tampering or attempting to mislead the investigation, although that was reduced by one year for early admission and acceptance of the sanction.

Cherono was provisionally suspended in July 2022 after testing positive for heart medication trimetazidine (TMZ).

The ban is backdated to his initial suspension, meaning Cherono will not be able to compete until 2029.

The former Boston and Chicago marathon winner initially blamed the positive test on an injection given to him by a doctor to treat stomach pain.

Cherono then changed his story, blaming a mix-up with his wife's medication.

Head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) Brett Clothier said the ban "sends a strong signal" to anyone considering breaking the rules.

“This decision is testament to the tireless and persistent efforts of the AIU in investigating doping and the explanations provided for positive tests," he added.

"The AIU will leave no stone unturned in carrying out its mandate.”

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was given a four-year ban earlier this year for testing positive for TMZ shortly before the 2022 Winter Olympics.

In 2021, 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for the drug were cleared to compete at the Tokyo Games because China Anti-Doping Agency determined they had unintentionally ingested the substance through contamination.