16 JULY, MONACO: The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has today provisionally suspended marathon runner, Lawrence Cherono of Kenya and 400m runner, Randolph Ross of the USA, meaning both athletes are out of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
A sample collected from Lawrence Cherono tested positive for trimetazidine, a substance that is prohibited under the 2022 WADA Prohibited List as a metabolic modulator. Substances in this category modify how the body metabolizes fat. Trimetazidine is approved for use in some countries to treat chest pain stemming from a lack of blood supply and oxygen to the heart. Trimetazidine is a non-specified substance, and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules unless certain conditions apply.
The AIU collected the sample from Mr Cherono during an out-of-competition test on 23 May 2022. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Lausanne that analysed the sample received it on 27 May 2002 and notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding on 13 July 2022. Mr Cherono was travelling to Eugene at this time and was notified of the adverse analytical finding when he arrived in Eugene on 14 July 2022. In accordance with the Rules, the athlete was provided with an opportunity to show cause to the AIU why he should not be provisionally suspended.
Having considered the submission of Mr Cherono, received late on 15 July, the AIU has determined that a provisional suspension should apply with immediate effect and Mr Cherono will not take part in the marathon on 17 July.
The AIU notes that under the WADA International Standard for Laboratories, reporting of sample results should occur within twenty (20) days of receipt of the sample. In this case, the delay to the time of reporting was 47 days. The AIU has made a formal complaint to the laboratory in relation to this unacceptable delay, which has denied the opportunity for another Kenyan athlete to take the place of Mr Cherono in the marathon.
Randolph Ross has today been issued a Notice of Allegation by the AIU alleging a violation of Rule 2.5 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules for tampering with the doping control process. The allegation arises out of the athlete’s conduct during the course of an investigation into a potential whereabouts violation. There was an unsuccessful attempt by the AIU to test Mr Ross on 18 June 2022 and the investigation into this matter concluded when Mr Ross was interviewed by the AIU in Eugene on 14 July.
The AIU has imposed a provisional suspension on Mr Ross with immediate effect and Mr Ross will not take part in the 400m heats on 17 July.
About the Athletics Integrity Unit
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is the independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping – for the sport of athletics. The remit of the AIU includes anti-doping, the pursuit of individuals engaged in age or competition results manipulation, investigating fraudulent behaviour with regards to transfers of allegiance, and detecting other misconduct including bribery and breaches of betting rules. It is the AIU’s role to drive cheats out of our sport, and to do everything within its power to support honest athletes around the world who dedicate their lives to reaching their sporting goals through dedication and hard work.