World champion Norah Jeruto suspended for doping

World champion Norah Jeruto suspended for doping

On April 7, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended the 2022 world 3,000m steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto of Kazakhstan. Jeruto has been suspended for the use of an unidentified prohibited substance according to the athlete’s biological passport (ABP) data.

Last July, Jeruto became the first Kazakhstan athlete to win gold at the World Athletics Championships, setting a new championship and national record of 8:53.02 in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase. She also won the 2021 Diamond League title in the same event.

Jeruto is temporarily suspended from participating in any competition prior to a final decision at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, or the Integrity Code of Conduct. If Jeruto’s provision suspension stands, her world championship gold will be stripped.

The purpose of analyzing an athlete’s ABP data is to monitor select biological parameters over time that may indirectly reveal the effects of doping. This approach allows the AIU to generate individual, longitudinal profiles for each athlete and to look for any fluctuations that may indicate that the athlete has been using performance-enhancing drugs.

The profile for each athlete is generated based on statistics that utilize data from previous (given) samples to predict the individual’s performance limits or range for future samples. According to the AIU, if any data from a test sample falls outside of the athlete’s range, it could be an indication of doping.

ABP data is usually used as evidence of doping during an anti-doping rule violation case.

Norah Jeruto
Norah Jeruto in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. Photo: Kevin Morris

Jeruto’s time of 8:53.02 is the third fastest women’s 3,000m steeplechase time in history behind her former compatriot, world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech 8:44.32 from Monaco Diamond League in 2018.

The 27-year-old was born in Kenya, but switched allegiances to Kazakhstan before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in hopes of selection. She did not receive citizenship until January 2022.

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