20 athletes banned from participating at the Olympics

Kenya (two athletes) Belarus (three), Ethiopia (one), Morocco (one) Ukraine (three) and Nigeria (10).

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 25: A boat sails past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Rings on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

20 athletes have been stopped from participating in the Olympics. The reason: They have not lived up to the requirements of the athletics anti-doping organization Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

AIU is the independent body created by the World Athletics that manages all integrity issues (both doping and non-doping) for the sport of athletics.

Two Kenyans were replaced by Athletics Kenya prior to the submission of their entries to World Athletics.

1500m athlete Kamar Etiang and 400m hurder Moitalel Mpoke were dropped on July 15 for failing to take the required number of out-of-competition doping tests.

The tests have to be at least three weeks apart. Those rules are enforced on Kenya because the country is considered high risk by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after a large number of doping cases in recent years.

Following Etiang's dismissal, 1,500-meter world champion Timothy Cheruiyot was selected to replace the 18 year old.

Cheruiyot is now a strong contender for gold in the 1,500 in Tokyo after setting the world-leading time this year and winning back-to-back Diamond League titles in Stockholm and Monaco this month.

He wasn't initially on the Kenya team after finishing fourth at the trials. Kenya last won an Olympic 1500m gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when Asbel Kiprop was awarded the medal after Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi was disqualified for doping at the Games.

For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes.

Under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.

Among other things, the Rule sets out minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.


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