Norah Jeruto, world champion in the 3000m steeplechase in 2022, provisionally suspended for doping in April, has been cleared with immediate effect, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday, which reserves the right to make call.
Jeruto, 28, was provisionally suspended by the AIU “for the use of a prohibited product or method” after anomalies identified on his biological passport. The biological passport, monitoring selected biological variables over time, makes it possible to sanction an athlete for doping without a positive doping control in the event of unanimity of a panel of experts.
But the independent disciplinary tribunal of the International Athletics Federation ruled that the anomalies detected, which suggested blood samples, were not sufficient to conclude that blood doping had taken place. “The samples cannot in themselves constitute an attempt to administer blood just as the purchase of a weapon for malicious purposes cannot constitute an attempted murder,” wrote the disciplinary tribunal in its conclusions dated October 27 and published on Friday.
The athlete and doctors testifying on her behalf also explained to the experts that she suffered from abdominal ulcers and that she had contracted Covid, two reasons which could explain, according to her, the anomalies noted. Due to lack of sufficient evidence provided by the prosecution, the disciplinary court decided to “dismiss all charges” and lift the provisional suspension “immediately”.
The AIU indicated on Norah Jeruto has represented Kazakhstan in competition since January 30, 2022. She became world champion in the 3000m steeplechase in 2022 (8 min 53 sec 02) but was unable to defend her title in Budapest in August, being provisionally suspended. Kenya, his country of origin, has recently seen dozens of cases of doping sanctioned by the AIU among its athletes.