Rita Jeptoo

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Rita Jeptoo at the 2007 Boston Marathon
Jeptoo competing in the marathon at the 2005 World Championships
Jeptoo, running in the 2013 Boston Marathon, which she won, shown approaching the halfway point in Wellesley

Rita Jeptoo (born 15 February 1981) is a Kenyan marathon runner. She has won the Boston Marathon three times, including setting the course record at 2:18:57 in 2014. She has also won marathons in Chicago, Stockholm, and Milan, as well as having represented Kenya in the event at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics. She was the bronze medalist at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships.

Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test 25 September 2014.[1] Athletics Kenya handed her a two-year ban from sports for the anti-doping rule violation.[2][3][4]


Jeptoo won the 2004 Stockholm Marathon, her first marathon race,[5] and then took a consecutive victory at the Milan Marathon.[6] She finished third in the 2005 Turin Marathon and seventh at the 2005 World Championships.[7]

In 2006, she set a personal best time of 2:23:38 winning the Boston Marathon, she took the title at the Paris Half Marathon,[8] she won the bronze medal at the 2006 World Road Running Championships,[9] she was fourth at the New York City Marathon that same year. In 2007, she finished fourth in Boston, attempting to defend her title, and was quoted as saying, "I never felt good in the cold. I couldn't get my body in a rhythm."[10] She won the Lisbon Half Marathon that year, later going on to take seventh place in the marathon at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics. She ended her 2007 with a new course record at the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race, earning US$50,000 as a result.[11]

She won the Portugal Half Marathon in 2008. She was among the leading runners at the Boston and New York marathons that season, finishing third and fourth respectively.[12] She took time off from running for maternity leave from late 2008 onwards, returning to competition in 2011.[13] The Rotterdam Marathon was her return marathon outing and she came fifth with a time of 2:28:09 hours.[14] She ran her fastest marathon time since 2005 at the Frankfurt Marathon, taking fifth place after 2:25:44 hours.[15]

Returning to the site of her 2006 win, she came sixth at the 2012 Boston Marathon.[16] She came fourth at the Beach to Beacon 10K and Falmouth Road Race, but delivered her best performance in half a decade at the 2012 Chicago Marathon. A tight duel with Atsede Baysa in the latter stages of the race resulted in her narrowly finishing as runner-up, but her time of 2:22:04 hours knocked over a minute and half off her six-year-old personal best.[17]

The 2013 RAK Half Marathon was so fast that Jeptoo improved her best to 66:27 minutes—making her the fifth fastest ever—but left her in third place in the race.[18]

In 2013, she won both the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:26:25,[19] and the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:19:57 (personal best).[20]

Rita defended her Boston Marathon title in 2014, winning with a time of 2:18:57 and setting a new course record.[21]

Rita defended her Chicago Marathon title in 2014, winning with a time of 2:24:35. However, she had a positive doping test in her "A" sample, given in Kenya two weeks before the race. Her agent Federico Rosa, a prominent name in elite marathon running, confirmed the fact but refused to reveal the responsible substance.[22][23][24][25] It was later revealed that the prohibited substance was [EPO|Erythropoietin], and she was banned for two years by Athletics Kenya.[2][4][3]

Ban appeal

On Tuesday 21 April 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced it had received two separate appeals pertaining to the ban. One, from Jeptoo, asked that the challenged decision be set aside, and the two-year suspension be lifted. The second was from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), who requested that Jeptoo's ban be increased to four years, due to "..aggravating circumstances which it argues warrant an extended period of ineligibility."[26]

Personal life

She is married to Noah Busienei, a middle distance runner.[27]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
2004 Stockholm Marathon Stockholm, Sweden 1st Marathon 2:35:14
Milan Marathon Milan, Italy 1st Marathon 2:28:11
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 7th Marathon 2:24:22
2006 Paris Half Marathon Paris, France 1st Half marathon 1:09:56
Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:23:38
2007 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon, Portugal 1st Half marathon 1:07:05
2013 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:26:25
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:19:57
2014 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:18:57 (CR)
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:24:35


  1. Associated Press: Rita Jeptoo tested positive for EPO, espn.com, 3 November 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kevin Kaduk: Marathon champ Rita Jeptoo receives two-year ban for positive drug test, 30 January 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Athletes currently suspended from all competitions in athletics following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as at: 06.03.15". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved 6 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "IAAF News Issue 160, 24 February 2015". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved 24 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Stockholm Marathon History 2004–2006 accessed 10 August 2007
  6. Milan City Marathon 2004 accessed 10 August 2007
  7. Turin Marathon History accessed 10 August 2007
  8. Paris Half Marathon – List of Winners
  9. Athlete profile for Rita Jeptoo Sitienei
  10. Runner's World article by Toby Tanser – Russian Woman wins Boston accessed 10 August 2007
  11. Hughes, Danny (24 November 2007). Jeptoo, Awash cruise to Obudu Mountain victories. IAAF. Retrieved on 5 December 2009.
  12. Jeptoo Sitienei Rita. Marathon Info. Retrieved on 16 April 2011.
  13. Mutuota, Mutwiri (5 February 2011). Mwangi and Lisoreng take Police XC titles. IAAF. Retrieved on 16 April 2011.
  14. van Hemert, Wim (10 April 2011). Chebet impresses with 2:05:27 victory in Rotterdam. IAAF. Retrieved on 16 April 2011.
  15. Butcher, Pat (30 October 2012). Kipsang tantalises with 2:03:42 World record assault in Frankfurt. IAAF. Retrieved on 19 February 2012.
  16. Morse, Parker (16 April 2012). Korir and Cherop the best as warm weather slows Boston. IAAF. Retrieved on 26 April 2012.
  17. Gugala, Jon (7 October 2012). Course record for Kebede, Baysa dethrones Shobukhova – Chicago Marathon report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 February 2013.
  18. Kabuu and Kipsang triumph in high-quality races at Ras al-Khaimah Half. IAAF (15 February 2013). Retrieved on 2 March 2013.
  19. Desisa and Jeptoo will defend their Boston Marathon titles | iaaf.org
  20. Kimetto smashes course record, Jeptoo cracks 2:20 in Chicago | iaaf.org
  21. Fantz, Ashley (21 April 2014). "A year later, Boston Marathon runners race again". Retrieved 21 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Rita Jeptoo: Kenyan marathon runner fails doping test. BBC Sport (31 October 2014). Retrieved on 2 November 2014.
  23. Pilon, Mary & Logman, Jere (31 October 2014). Rita Jeptoo, Kenyan Marathon Champion, Fails Preliminary Doping Test. New York Times. Retrieved on 2 November 2014.
  24. Agent: Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo failed doping test. USA Today (31 October 2014). Retrieved on 2 November 2014.
  25. Pepin, Matt (31 October 2014). Boston Marathon women’s champ Rita Jeptoo failed drug test. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2 November 2014.
  26. Daily Nation Kenya. Daily Nation Kenya http://www.nation.co.ke/sports/athletics/Kenya-marathon-star-Rita-Jeptoo-facing-increased-doping-ban/-/1100/2693758/-/qu2x07/-/index.html. Retrieved 22 April 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> The Court in its statement announced that both appeals were currently in progress, with no decision date given.
  27. Boston Marathon Runner Profile – Rita Jeptoo accessed 10 August 2007

External links