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World and Olympic champ Kiprotich speaks out against doping

Uganda’s World and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich has sent out a compassionate message to his fellow athletes not to fall into the doping dragnet but instead focus on winning clean.

Reacting to the recent revelations of doping among Kenyan athletes, Kiprotich, who is based at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat, said the only way to success is through clean competition.

“To the Kenyan athletes, my brothers and sisters, use your energy where you can but simply stop where you can’t,” Kiprotich, who is coached by Kenya’s Olympic steeplechase silver medallist Patrick Sang, said.

“I always tell my fellow athletes that doping will affect you after your career because you will be sick and, instead of enjoying farming and other business, you will be spending your life in hospital.

“Nothing comes on a silver platter – it’s all about hard work,” the charismatic man from Kapchorwa on the foot of Mt Elgon, added.

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The Ugandan floored his Kenyan neighbours twice when it mattered most, winning the 2012 Olympic marathon gold in London before pulling another fast one on his cross-border rivals at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

Kiprotich, who boasts a personal best 2:07.20, spoke as he wound up training for his first major race of the 2015 season, next weekend’s Tokyo Marathon, which will also launch the 2015-16 World Marathon Majors series.

Other big city races in the series will be in Boston (April 20), London (April 22), Berlin (September 27), Chicago (October 11) and New York (November 1).

Last year’s World Marathon Majors $500 (Sh45 million) jackpot winner Rita Jeptoo was stripped of her title following her positive test for banned blood booster EPO, an offence that this month also landed her a two-year ban from the sport.

World champion Ednah Kiplagat, second behind Jeptoo in the 2014 rankings, will now be presented with the WMM jackpot.

Jeptoo’s doping incident has led to growing concern over doping in Kenya with Athletics Kenya on Friday organising its first anti-doping seminar in Nairobi.