Philip Sanga Kimutai has become the latest Kenyan marathon runner to test positive for banned drugs ©Vienna Marathon

Marathon runner Philip Sanga Kimutai has become the latest leading Kenyan to be suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for banned drugs.

The 36-year-old has tested positive for testosterone and is facing a four-year ban if found guilty.

Kimutai's best marathon time of 2 hours 06min 07sec at the Frankfurt Marathon in 2011 ranked him as the 13th fastest runner in the world that year.

Last year, his best performance was a time of 2:11:44 to finish fifth in the Gold Coast Marathon.

He ran three marathons this year, clocking 2:15:31 when finishing 10th in Hong Kong.

Kimutai becomes the 43rd Kenyan athlete to be currently suspended for doping.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Vincent Kipsegechi Yator failed a test for anabolic steroids prednisone and prenisolone.

Athletes banned include Jemima Sumgong, winner of Kenya's first Olympic gold medal in the women's marathon when she crossed the line first at Rio 2016, who tested positive for the blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO). 

A German television programme broadcast last month claimed doping was widespread in Kenya ©ZDF
A German television programme broadcast last month claimed doping was widespread in Kenya ©ZDF

Last year, three-time world champion and Olympic 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop tested positive for EPO and was also banned.

Between 2004 and August 2018, 138 Kenyan athletes tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to a World Anti-Doping Agency report published in September 2018.

The report concluded that anabolic steroid nandrolone, corticosteroids and EPO were the substances most used by Kenyan athletes.

Last month, on the eve of the IAAF World Championships here, German broadcaster ZDF had footage which allegedly showed top male and female athletes being injected with the performance-enhancing substance EPO in pharmacies in the African country. 

There were also claims from a doctor that Kenyan athletes and officials have found a way to sidestep testing methods.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe promised the world governing body would investigate the claims.