Former world champion runner Jeruto faces doping case hearing in June ahead of Paris Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Former steeplechase world champion Norah Jeruto faces a doping case hearing in June, five weeks before the Paris Olympics open.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Wednesday it will hear an appeal by World Athletics on June 17 against a ruling last year that cleared the 2022 world champion of suspected blood doping.

Jeruto had argued that ulcers and a bout of COVID-19 could explain her blood test results in 2020 and 2021 that were later judged to be irregular. She did not test positive for a banned substance.

The Kenya-born Jeruto competed for Kazakhstan when she won gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the worlds in Eugene, Oregon, but could not defend her title last year as she was suspended during an investigation.

The Athletics Integrity Unit implicated the 28-year-old Jeruto in banned blood transfusions and taking the endurance-boosting hormone EPO.

An independent tribunal judging the case said a COVID-19 infection in late 2020 raised “sufficient doubt on this part of the case that it would be unfair to convict (Jeruto).”

An expert witness said internal bleeding from Jeruto’s ulcers could explain why some of her samples indicated she had lost blood, and there was no evidence she received any transfusions.

Jeruto became an African champion while representing Kenya and won on the top-tier Diamond League circuit in 2021. She missed the Tokyo Olympics that year while her change of allegiance to Kazakhstan was processed.

An urgent CAS verdict is likely before the women’s steeplechase is raced at the Paris Olympics on Aug. 6-8 at Stade de France.


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