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Athletics Integrity Unit suspends five Kenyan elite athletes for doping
NAIROBI, Sept. 27 -- Kenya's Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has confirmed five more Kenyan elite runners have tested positive to doping and have been suspended from competition.
Casablanca Marathon silver medalist Peter Kiptoo has been banned for four years after he failed the test. Others are Nicholas Kiplagat, Ferdinand Omanyala, Micah Kiplagat Samoei and Michael Rotich.
"It is our collective responsibility to ensure we keep athletics clean worldwide," said AIU on Thursday.
The five will join Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei, who was provisionally suspended from all competitions by AIU after testing positive for banned substance EPO.
Other high profile athletes who have lost the integrity test include former Commonwealth Games champion and Milan Marathon winner Lucy Kabuu and Boniface Mweresa.
This follows the suspensions of Olympic and three-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and Hillary Yego. The latest wave of failed dope tests derailing Kenya's bid to clear it's named from the IAAF watchlist.
Kenya's athlete representative to global track and field governing body (IAAF) Milcah Chemos says that ultimately, the long arm of the law will catch up with any athlete violating the anti-doping rules.
"It's very disappointing to see a Kenyan every now and then being linked to a doping violation," said Chemos, a former world champion in steeplechase.
Kenya is renowned for its middle and long distance running prowess but the east African nation's athletes have suffered more than 50 failed doping tests in the past six years.
Athletics Kenya Executive Committee member Barnaba Korir says Kenya must always strive to win the war against doping.
"It's sad that we continue to lose top athletes to doping. Athletics Kenya obviously regrets the development and reiterates that athletes must run clean," he added.
Over 50 athletes have been suspended by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from Kenya in the last decade for cheating.
Currently, Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine constitute the current watchlist of Category 'A', which includes the members most at risk of doping.