The International Athletics Federation’s integrity unit announced today, Tuesday, that it has suspended Kenyan middle-distance runner Nelly Gipkosghi for three years after pleading guilty to charges of tampering with evidence.
The Integrity Unit said that Gepkosgy, the 27th world ranked in the women’s 800-meter race, missed a test to detect doping on March 18, and submitted a fake document to get away from the penalty for not reporting her whereabouts.
The 29-year-old runner told the Integrity Unit that she missed the test because she was in a hospital to visit her sister, who was injured in a car crash.
In June, Gepkosghi’s lawyer sent a copy of hospital discharge documents stating that her sister had been admitted on March 18 and “stayed there for several days”.
Later on, the integrity unit asked the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency to verify Gipkosghi’s allegations, but the Kenyan agency reported that there had been no police report of an accident and that the hospital records had no information about the runner’s sister being admitted to treatment.
The hospital director also told the Kenyan agency that the name and signature on the document do not belong to any hospital staff or doctors, and that the document is forged.
Gipkosgy, who was due to start representing Bahrain in international competitions from August this year, told the Integrity Unit in December that she obtained the exit document herself, after which she was accused of violating anti-doping regulations.
The Integrity Unit said that the runner pleaded guilty to the charge in February, with admission of guilt, so that the penalty would be reduced from a mandatory four years to three years according to IAAF regulations.