Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet has been banned for four years after testing positive for banned blood booster r-EPO (recombinant erythropoietin), the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Bahrain athlete was suspended in February 2018 after failing an out-of-competition test on 1 December 2017.
Jebet told the AIU in March 2018 she had not taken it intentionally, but a disciplinary tribunal has now ruled against her.
The AIU said the ban would run from the date of the initial suspension in 2018.
The Kenyan-born athlete has the right to appeal the four-year suspension but currently will not be able to defend her Olympic title at the 24 July – 9 August Olympics in Tokyo.
Recombinant erythropoietin is a man-made version of natural erythropoietin, and improves athletic performance by stimulating the production of more red blood cells.
After winning gold in Rio in 2016, she went on to set a new world record in the Paris Diamond League meet of 8min 52sec 78sec, a mark since smashed by Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech (8:44.32) in July 2018.
The AIU ordered the disqualification of all her results between 1 December 1 2017 and 4 February 2018.