Athletics

Singapore marathon runner-up fails dope test

Kenyan runner Felix Kirwa, who finished second in the men's elite field at last year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, has been suspended for nine months after failing a dope test.

This is the second time that a runner has been tested positive for a banned substance at the annual event, after Singaporean Lim Baoying, 37, was suspended three years and nine months and stripped of her title as the top local female runner last month.

Lim, a physician, declared her usage of modafinil during doping control after the race, which she finished as the top local female runner.

According to an Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) release, she had taken "a quarter of one tablet of modafinil 200mg" before the Dec 9 event "in order that she could stay awake after the race".

Kirwa, 23, tested positive for strychnine, a substance sometimes used as rat poison.

The AIU said Kirwa would be banned until Nov 14 and was disqualified from his second-placed finish.

Kirwa, who won the Singapore marathon in 2016, said he had been taking herbal medicines that included the banned substance and the AIU said the presence of strychnine in his sample was consistent with that explanation. - REUTERS

OTHER SPORTS