190415 Marathon [1296x729]
190415 Marathon [1296x729] (Credit: Associated Press)

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Kenyan runner Lawrence Cherono, a former winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, has been banned for seven years for doping and trying to use fake documents to explain his failed drug test.

Cherono tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in 2022 and was suspended just before he was due to compete at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

In a case that took nearly two years to reach a final verdict, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Wednesday that Cherono had been banned for the original positive test and for tampering with the anti-doping process in his attempts to explain it away.

The AIU said Cherono claimed he had been injected with an "unknown substance" by a doctor for a stomach complaint and tried to implicate supposedly "jealous" training partners before he then submitted documents purportedly from a clinic in an attempt to back up a claim that his wife had been prescribed medication and gave it to him by mistake instead of painkillers.

However, medical records obtained by court order in Kenya showed no sign Cherono's wife had received any such treatment, the AIU said.

The AIU imposed a ban of four years for the violation and another four-year ban for the tampering charge. The overall ban was reduced by one year due to admission and acceptance.

Cherono won the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2019, and his personal-best time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 4 seconds from 2020 remains the 12th-fastest in history. The ban is backdated to the start of his provisional suspension in 2022, but at the age of 35, it could still end his top-level career.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.