Diana Kipyokei Getty 2021 Boston Marathon
Getty Images

Long distance runner Diana Kipyokei -- the 2021 Boston Marathon winner -- has been banned six years and had her title taken away because of a positive drug test, and for providing fake documentation to anti-doping officials, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced this week.

Kipyokei, born in Kenya, finished first in the women's division with a time of 2:24:45 in October 2021. Soon after, she tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide, which is a medium to strong-potency corticosteroid -- a type of anti-inflammatory drug.

According to the AIU, she tried to explain her October 11th test sample by giving officials "misleading information" and fake documents she alleged came from a hospital. The organization said the 28-year-old paid Dr. David Njenga 20,000 Kenyan Shillings, around $162, for the medical documents.

Kipyokei originally beat countrywoman Edna Kiplagat by 24 seconds. After finding out about her opponent's banned substance investigation results, Kiplagat expressed her disappointment on social media.

"Very disappointed robbed my joy my smile my happiness and the beautiful decorated tape at the finish line," she wrote in October.

Her second place finish has been upgraded to show her as the 2021 Boston Marathon champion. She was 41 years old at the time, making her the oldest winner in the history of the race. This is unfortunately not the first incident of this kind to happen this decade. Rita Jeptoo had her 2014 Boston Marathon win disqualified for doping. Ethiopian runner Bizunesh Deba was upgraded as the winner. 

On Dec. 20, AIU also announced that Purity Rionoripo, another Kenyan marathoner, will be banned for five years for the presence of Furosemide -- a diuretic -- in an out-of-competition test sample from May 2022. According to the AIU, she claimed to have been prescribed medication to treat an ankle injury, but the investigation revealed she had altered her prescription form to include Lasix, the commercial name for Forosemide.