Endurance: Jynocel Basweti

When two Kenyan distance runners were sanctioned for doping offenses by Athletics Kenya last week, initial news reports described one of the athletes, Jynocel Basweti, as "relatively unknown."

[+] EnlargeJynocel Basweti
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesJynocel Basweti, who has won 17 marathons in the U.S. since 2006, was suspended two years by Athletics Kenya for a doping offense.
However, the 27-year-old Basweti is very familiar to organizers of mid-market marathons in the United States. He has won 17 marathons in the U.S. since 2006, sometimes stringing together multiple victories only weeks apart. His resume includes three wins at the Quad Cities Marathon; two apiece in Buffalo, Richmond and Atlanta; and others in Denver, Seattle, Jackson, Miss., and Louisville, Ky.

Basweti's times weren't world-class, and the prize money he collected was modest by professional standards, topping out in the $10,000 range per race over the years. But the frequency of and spacing between his wins were eyebrow-raising, and his recently-revealed doping violation highlights a tricky issue for directors of small-budget races with a recreational or charity focus that do little to no drug testing.

According to the IAAF, track and field's international governing body, Basweti tested positive for boldenone, an anabolic steroid intended for veterinary use, after finishing second at the Culiacan Marathon in Mexico on Jan. 22, 2012. His two-year suspension announced last week was back-dated to July 2012. During the interlude between the test and the beginning of the suspension, Basweti ran in at least four marathons in the United States and won three of them within a six-week stretch:

• Feb. 19: 2nd place, Austin (Texas) Marathon (2:23:52)
• March 18: 1st place, Shamrock SportFest, Virginia Beach, Va. (2:22:57)
• April 1: 1st place, Knoxville (Tenn.) Marathon (2:29:24)
• April 28: 1st place, Kentucky Derby Marathon, Louisville, Ky. (2:23:04)

"This is a first for us," said Knoxville Marathon race director Jason Altman. "We'll have a discussion and see if we have any recourse. If he cheated, he cheated not only the participants but the race organizers."

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