January 27, 2015
Today we received the following statement fromKenyan marathon star Edna Kiplagat via her management team. The statement is in response to a media story published earlier in the month in Reuters stating that Kiplagat was seeking the $1 million for the two $500,000 World Marathon Major jackpots she lost to drug cheats and Liliya Shobukhova and Rita Jeptoo. In the Reuters article, Kiplagat was quoted as saying, “My talent is being wasted. I don’t have any motivation. Shobukhova and Jeptoo have been suspended but I have not been paid what was due to me.” In the statement below, Kiplagat says those statements were “fabricated” and that she “would like to take an opportunity to directly state my opinion on this topic.” In her statement, which you can read in its entirety below, Kiplagat is full of praise for the Abbott World Marathon Majors and their anti-doping efforts.
Statement from Edna Kiplagat – Two-Time IAAF World Marathon Champion
January 27, 2016
During the week of January 10th, a newspaper report in Kenya fabricated comments from me regarding the ongoing issues of doping in athletics and the process by which prize money and other financial incentives should be paid to deserving athletes. This article has since been circulated through various media outlets around the world. I would like to take an opportunity to directly state my opinion on this topic, including the two cases in which I have been most directly affected: the 2010/2011 and 2013/2014 Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) overall titles and the two awards totaling USD 1,000,000.It has been my privilege over the past five years to focus my career on the marathon, and to
It has been my privilege over the past five years to focus my career on the marathon, and to have achieved some success in this event. With my husband and coach, Gilbert Koech, we have accomplished this not only through year-in, year-out hard work that all athletes undertake, but also by being provided the settings of the world’s top marathon races, in particular those of the Olympic Games, World Championships, and the AbbottWMM.
My past 13 consecutive marathons since November, 2010, have all been a part of this group: five times in London, four times in New York, three times at the IAAF World Championships, and one Olympic Games. Tokyo next month will be my 14th competition in a marathon that is part of the AbbottWMM scoring system.
I have passionately supported the events of the AbbottWMM. These events are the best in the world, in every sense. They feature the strongest athletes, the best race management and sponsorship teams, and the best financial incentives for us as athletes.
The frustration I feel — which is shared by all other athletes have who have been deprived of our titles, medals, and financial earnings by athletes and officials who cheated the system — has been well-documented in the media. Such people are not only cheats, but they are thieves, stealing earnings from athletes, appearance fees from race organizers, and bonuses from sponsors.
I applaud the actions taken by the Abbott World Marathon Majors in promoting clean competition and helping to move our sport forward. The AbbottWMM took the strongest possible stand in opposing the WADA and IAAF reinstatement of Liliya Shobukhova to our sport last summer shortly before the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. In this, the AbbottWMM was defending not only me, but also 2009/2010 champion Irina Mikitenko, and almost 30 other women. As a group, we lost over $1.3 million in prize money to the cheating of Ms. Shobukhova.
The IAAF is also seeking a resolution to the case of Rita Jeptoo, whose case still remains with the Court of Arbitration for Sport nearly 15 months after she was caught for the use of performance enhancing drugs. AbbottWMM legal counsel Nick Bitel and general manager Tim Hadzima have kept me updated through my manager on a near-monthly basis on the progress of the CAS case, as well as spoken out on behalf of all athletes in pushing for a clean-up at our
From the onset, the AbbottWMM has pushed for the cleanest standards in our sport, everything from pre-race blood tests, to lifetime bans from AbbottWMM events for any athletes caught for PED use. They have even set up the largest independently-funded drug testing pool in athletics, enforce mandatory testing of invited athletes, and have created a deferred payment system that will prevent cheats from benefiting financially.
I believe that all clean athletes join me in applauding these steps by the AbbottWMM. I look forward to attempting to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio and to competing in several more AbbottWMM races. I am excited by our future partnership.