Doping Case Hearing for Steeplechase Champion Norah Jeruto Ahead of Paris Olympics

Former steeplechase champion faces doping hearing at CAS, with implications for Paris Olympics and integrity of athletics. Outcome could determine her ability to defend world title.

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Salman Khan
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Doping Case Hearing for Steeplechase Champion Norah Jeruto Ahead of Paris Olympics

Doping Case Hearing for Steeplechase Champion Norah Jeruto Ahead of Paris Olympics

Former steeplechase champion faces doping hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on June 17, just five weeks before the Paris Olympics. The hearing is an appeal by World Athletics against a ruling last year that cleared Jeruto of suspected blood doping.

Jeruto, who competed for Kazakhstan when she won gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2022 World Championships, was suspended during an investigation by the Athletics Integrity Unit for alleged banned blood transfusions and use of the endurance-boosting hormone EPO. However, an independent tribunal previously cleared Jeruto, citing "sufficient doubt" due to a COVID-19 infection and internal bleeding from ulcers that could explain her irregular blood test results.

Why this matters: The outcome of the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport could have significant implications for the women's steeplechase event at the Paris Olympics and the integrity of the sport. It also highlights the ongoing efforts to combat doping in athletics and ensure a level playing field for all competitors.

The CAS is expected to deliver a verdict before the women's steeplechase event at the Paris Olympics on August 6-8. Jeruto, who became an African champion while representing Kenya and won on the Diamond League circuit in 2021, missed the Tokyo Olympics that year while her change of allegiance to Kazakhstan was processed.

World Athletics is appealing the tribunal's decision to clear Jeruto, arguing that the evidence of blood doping is sufficient to warrant a suspension. The Athletics Integrity Unit had implicated Jeruto in banned blood transfusions and taking EPO based on her irregular blood test results in 2020 and 2021.

Jeruto has maintained her innocence, claiming that a severe bout of COVID-19 in late 2020 and internal bleeding from ulcers could explain the irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport. The independent tribunal agreed that there was enough doubt to clear her of the charges.

The upcoming hearing will determine whether Jeruto will be able to compete in the Paris Olympics and defend her world title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The case also underscores the ongoing battle against doping in athletics and the importance of maintaining the integrity of the sport.

Key Takeaways

  • Former steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto faces doping hearing at CAS on June 17.
  • Jeruto was previously cleared of suspected blood doping, but World Athletics is appealing.
  • Outcome could impact women's steeplechase at Paris Olympics and integrity of athletics.
  • Jeruto claims COVID-19 and internal bleeding explain irregular blood test results.
  • CAS verdict expected before women's steeplechase event at Paris Olympics on Aug 6-8.