Three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo failed a drug test in September, her agent confirmed Friday, and the World Marathon Majors has postponed its awards ceremony on Sunday as a result.
Jeptoo, of Kenya, was to be crowned the World Marathon Majors women’s champion because her victories at Boston and Chicago in 2014 clinched the series title and its $500,000 prize regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s New York City Marathon.
According to RunBlogRun’s Larry Eder, who first reported the news, an A sample from Jeptoo in September tested positive for a banned substance. Her B sample collected at the time of testing in Kenya will now be tested.
“This is true,” Federico Rosa, Jeptoo’s agent, told the Associated Press. He declined to name the substance.
Boston Athletic Association executive director Thomas Grilk said Jeptoo passed her drug tests at this year’s Boston Marathon.
“Top finishers at Boston are tested through the procedures established by and are conducted under the auspices of the IAAF. The athlete was tested at Boston, and the IAAF informed us that all tests from this year’s Boston Marathon were negative,” Grilk told the Globe Friday.
World Marathon Majors issued a full statement Friday and explained the decision to delay Sunday’s ceremony.
“At present there has been no decision in this case by the IAAF, including in relation to sanctions, and as a result WMM is unable to comment further until that determination has been made although in the circumstances it has been decided to postpone the WMM Awards Ceremony that was due to take place on the 2nd November 2014,” the statement read.
The Boston Athletic Association also posted a statement on its website regarding Jeptoo.
“We will await the issuance of an official statement from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) before further addressing the matter.
“Top finishers at the Boston Marathon are tested in accordance with the strict guidelines set forth by the IAAF, and the B.A.A. cooperates with all testing procedures and is supportive of the protocol. It is premature for us to provide additional comment at this point.
“Boston has been and continues to be an advocate for strict anti-doping measures along with the other events which comprise the World Marathon Majors.”
Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon in 2006, 2013, and 2014. She set a course record in April with a time of 2 hours 18 minutes 57 seconds. She also won the Chicago Marathon in 2013 and 2014.
“We will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this,” Rosa said, adding Jeptoo’s management had “nothing to do with” doping. “I am sorry for Rita.”
The IAAF said it was ‘‘not in position where it can confirm or deny’’ Jeptoo’s positive test.
‘‘The case remains in the confidentiality phase, ‘although that should be lifted within the next week,’ ” an IAAF statement said.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.