Runner Sends Lookalike To Doping Test, Receives 4-Year Ban - The Running Channel Advertisement

Runner Sends Lookalike To Doping Test, Receives 4-Year Ban

BY: The Running Channel
08 February 2024

We’ve heard of people sending their smarter twin to pass an exam, but this is a new one on us. Kenyan 800m runner Michael Saruni has been handed a four-year ban by the Anti-Doping Association of Kenya (ADAK) for sending a lookalike to a drugs test to try and fool officials.

A former African indoor 800m record holder, Saruni was found guilty of “evading sample collection, or without compelling justification, refusing, and running away” during Kenyan trials for the Commonwealth Games, the anti-doping panel said.

A senior clerical officer for ADAK explained in their evidence: “As I was going back to the toilet stalls, I saw someone switching from the first stall to the next door.” Adding “As we approached the Doping Control Centre, he immediately started running and jumped over a grilled perimeter wall.”

During the hearings, Saruni, who was provisionally suspended in January 2023, claimed in his evidence that he had never been summoned by testers.

At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Saruni placed sixth in the 800m semi-final and failed to reach the final.

He is banned until 30th August 2027.

Nearly 100 Kenyan athletes, mainly long-distance runners, have now been banned over the past five years.

Image By jenaragon94 – Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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