Kenya has had more athletes banned for anti-doping rule violations ©Getty Images

More Kenyan athletes have been given suspensions by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the latest including sprinter Mark Otieno Odhiambo and recent Porto Marathon winner Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai.

The AIU confirmed Odhiambo, Jepkemboi and men's marathon runner Mayo Johnstone Kibet would all serve periods of ineligibility for the use of prohibited substances.

Odhiambo, who was supposed to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games alongside compatriot and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ferdinand Omanyala, is serving a two-year ban for the presence and use of methasterone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid.

This dates back to July 31 2021, during the Games that he was pulled from for the positive test, and he has had all his results disqualified since June 24 2021 as well.

He would have a season to qualify for Paris 2024, returning in late July 2023.

Odhiambo's case was marred by controversy after the AIU incorrectly said on its Twitter account that the Kenyan sprinter was also facing a tampering charge, but this was a mistake that was later retracted.

Methasterone was found in a supplement used by him called Amino Hardcore, but this was not disclosed on the label of the product.

Sprinter Mark Otieno Odhiambo is one of three Kenyan athletes suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit ©Getty Images
Sprinter Mark Otieno Odhiambo is one of three Kenyan athletes suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit ©Getty Images

On top of this, Odhiambo had tried an internet search for the supplement's ingredients and it was not clear from this that Amino Hardcore contained methasterone.

This means the Kenyan has been given a two-year ban rather than the maximum of four years for the offence.

Jepkemboi won the Porto Marathon just last month and a positive test was flagged soon after, meaning she is to serve a three-year ban from November 16 2022 for the presence and use of testosterone. 

However, her out-of-competition sample was provided on September 20, more than six weeks before her marathon victory.

All results from the day of the sample have been wiped.

Her sanction was reduced by a year for early admittance of the offence taking place.

Kibet received the same punishment of three years for admitting to the offence of the presence and use of a banned substance.

The 34-year-old was found to have used erythropoietin, best known as EPO.

It comes days after European cross country champion Aras Kaya of Turkey was banned for the use of EPO.

Earlier this month, Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba said the country needed to "criminalise doping" in athletics, saying current legislation is not sufficient enough to address the issue.