The first World Athletics Championships in America has been rocked after a rising US 400m star was kicked out for tampering with the anti-doping process, while a top Kenyan runner, who has won the Boston and Chicago marathons, was also suspended after testing positive.
The Athletics Integrity Unit confirmed on Saturday Randolph Ross, a 21-year-old Tokyo Olympics relay gold medallist who is the 14th fastest man in history over 400m, had been provisionally suspended and would miss the championships in Eugene.
In a statement the AIU said Ross, who has run the 400m in 43.85sec, had been suspended due to his “conduct during the course of an investigation into a potential whereabouts violation”. It added: “There was an unsuccessful attempt by the AIU to test Mr Ross on 18 June 2022 and the investigation into this matter concluded when Mr Ross was interviewed by the AIU in Eugene on 14 July.”
Ross’s father, Duane, won a bronze medal in the 110m hurdles at the 1999 worlds. He later served a two-year suspension related to the case involving the coach Trevor Graham and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative – known as Balco – case. Ross Sr coached his son at North Carolina A&T and earlier this year was hired as director of track and field at Tennessee.
The AIU also confirmed that the Kenyan runner Lawrence Cherono had tested positive for trimetazidine, the same banned heart drug that the then 15-year-old Russian skater Kamila Valieva was found to have taken before the Winter Olympics.
Cherono, the winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2019, provided his sample during an out-of-competition test on 23 May and was informed of the adverse analytical finding when he arrived in Eugene on Thursday.
The Kenyan, who has a lifetime best of 2hr 03min 04sec in the marathon, making him the eighth fastest in history, was seen as one for the favourites for Sunday’s race.
The AIU said it had also made a formal complaint to the Lausanne laboratory in relation to an “unacceptable delay” in reporting the result, which had denied the opportunity for another Kenyan athlete to take the place of Cherono.
This past week the London 2012 Olympic medallist Nijel Amos was also provisionally suspended after returning a positive result for a banned substance.
The 28-year-old Botswanan, who won silver in the 800m at the 2012 Games and gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, failed an out-of-competition test last month.