Kenya: Another Kenyan Banned for Doping, Sidelined for Five Years

Nairobi — Purity Cherotich Rionoripo has become the latest Kenyan to be banned over doping by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

At the same time, the AIU also handed another Kenyan Diana Kipyokei with a six-year ban, as a result, she will now be disqualified as the 2021 Boston Marathon women’s winner.

Meanwhile, the AIU, charged another Kenyan Betty Wilson Lempus for the presence of a prohibited substance (Triamcinolone Acetonide) after previously being charged for tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete, hence remaining provisionally suspended.

Rionoripo, the 2017 Paris and 2021 Prague Marathon champion, was slapped with a five-year ban for use of prohibited substance Furosemide and tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete.

For that effect, Rionoripo’s results since May 30, 2022 has been disqualified.

In her explanation, she claimed to have been prescribed medication by a doctor at a hospital to treat an ankle injury and presented supporting documentation. However, investigations revealed that, though Rionoripo was treated at the hospital, she had altered her prescription form to include Lasix (the commercial name for Furosemide).

She was therefore charged November 21, 2022 for the presence/use of a specified Prohibited Substance and for Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control, due to the falsified prescription form.

Due to the presence of Aggravating Circumstances, the AIU sought a six-year ban in total and this was reduced by a one-year due to an early admission and acceptance of the sanction by Rionoripo.

Rionoripo, 29, hit the headlines in 2017 when she won her first major marathon with her husband Paul Lonyangata winning the corresponding men’s race to make it a memorable day out for the Kenyan couple.

She also won the 2015 Copenhagen Half Marathon, Trento Half Marathon (2019), Lisboa Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, (2015), she was second at the Praha Marathon in 2016, third at the 2020 Nagoya Women’s Marathon and fourth during the 2016 Chicago Marathon.


Kipyokei’s six-year period of ineligibility, started on 27 June 2022 (the date on which she was provisionally suspended by the AIU), while her results have been disqualified since and including 11 October 2021; the date on which she provided a urine sample, following her victory in the Boston Marathon.

That sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the presence of a metabolite of Triamcinolone Acetonide, an anti-inflammatory.

Ultimately, with investigative assistance from the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), the AIU discovered that Kipyokei provided false/misleading information in trying to explain her AAF, including fake documentation which she alleged came from a hospital.

Her two charges – the presence of a Prohibited Substance, namely a metabolite of Triamcinolone Acetonide and Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control were treated under the ADR as a single first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) but one considered to warrant six years’ ineligibility due to Aggravating Circumstances.

Kipyokei, who also won the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon (2020), Adana Half Marathon (2018) and Half Marathon, Quanzhou (2016) chose not to challenge the consequences imposed in her case.