Kenya’s Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, who survived a nasty accident to finish third at Honolulu Marathon last year, has been suspended after violating anti-doping rules.
International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) disclosed on Wednesday that Yator has tested positive to a banned substance.
Yator, who is fresh from setting a personal best when finishing fourth in 2:09:59 at Gold Coast Marathon on July 7 this year, three months after seventh place (2:10:02) in Vienna City Marathon, had the presence of prohibited Testosterone, Prednisone and Prednisolone in his body.
Yator had during the Kenya Police Service Championships on July 11 finished seventh in men’s 10,000m race.
He won the National 5,000 title on his way to winning silver over the same distance at the Africa Championships in 2010 in Nairobi.
That saw him represent Africa at the Intercontinental Cup in Croatia where he finished finish in 3,000m.
The same year, Yator represented Kenya in 5,000m at the Delhi Commonwealth Games where he finished fourth.
Yator also claimed fourth place in 5,000m at the 2011 Maputo Africa Games and finished similar position but in 10,000m at the 2015 Congo Brazzaville African Games.
The 30-year-old flew the Kenyan flag as a junior, finishing sixth in 5,000m at the 2008 World Under-20 Championships.
Before claiming a third place in 2:15:31 in Honolulu on December 9 last year, Yator had on October 28 settled 10th Frankfurt Marathon in 2:12:03.
He won the Kenya Police Service 10,000m titles in 2016 and 2017 and featured in the 10,000m trials for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Eldoret where he settled fifth.
On February last year, Yator, who was preparing for Paris Half Marathon was involved in a nasty accident while travelling back to Eldoret from Nairobi.
Yator was headed back to Eldoret after applying for his Schengen visa at the French embassy in Nairobi.
Yator was travelling with fellow road runner Francis Kiplagat who had also been to the capital on a similar mission, though his was a visa application at the Embassy of China ahead of a marathon he’d programmed for China.
They tucked themselves in as their North Rift shuttle ran at full career through the night, past Kikopey, hurtling towards Nakuru at about 9pm on February 18.
Then there was a loud bang, and then pitch darkness. Some of the passengers had died on impact, among them Kiplagat.
The injured were rushed to the St Mary’s hospital along the highway, with Yator later transferred to Nakuru, and then Eldoret.
Yator suffered three broken ribs and internal bleeding that saw him admitted at Eldoret’s Reale Hospital for about a week. Yator overcame the tragedy to finish third in Honolulu Marathon.
Yator suspension now brings to 13 the number of Kenyan elite athletes that AIU has either suspended or banned for doping offences this year.
The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth and Africa 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui and long distance runner John Jacob Kibet Kendagor have also been suspended alongside the 2017 Tokyo Marathon champion Sarah Chepchirchir, World Half Marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum and 2017 World Champions 5,000m representative Cyrus Rutto.
Others are former three-time World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Hilary Kepkosgei Yego, Samson Mungai Kagia, Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong, Lucy Kabuu, Salome Jerono Biwott and Felix Kirwa.