Kenyan marathon runner Felix Kirwa will not participate in any marathon competitions for the nine months after testing positive during the doping test. 

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The 2016 Singapore Marathon winner was handed this suspension by the IAAF after samples collected from the 2018 Singapore Marathon were assessed. 

Kirwa has also been stripped off his second place at the 2018 Singapore Marathon. 

However, Kirwa came out stating that he never took the medicines intentionally as he had been using herbal medicine products. 

Kirwa, who had arthritis, used substances such as ‘Arthritis Care’ and ‘Goodcare Arthplus.”

The Athletics Integrity Unity (AIU) has now come out in the defense of Kirwa by asking that his suspension be reduced. 

“Following consultation with a scientific expert, the AIU is satisfied that the presence of Strychnine in the Sample is consistent with the Athlete’s ingestion of the herbal medicine products ‘Arthritis Care’ and ‘Goodcare Arthplus’.

“He is not an experienced, educated Athlete2; and a search of the ingredients given on the product label of the herbal medicine (Sudh Kuchla/Strychnos nuxvomica) against the WADA 2018 Prohibited List would not have identified a prohibited substance. 

“In light of the above, including the Athlete’s relative age, inexperience and that the prohibited substance did not expressly appear on the herbal medicine product labels, the AIU proposed to the Athlete on 17 May 2019 a period of Ineligibility in this case of nine (9) months,” the AIU said in a statement.