MONACO (AP) — Nelly Jepkosgei, a leading runner in the 800 meters, has been banned for three years for faking a car accident to give her an excuse for missing a drug test.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees doping and misconduct cases, said in its ruling that Jepkosgei claimed her sister had been hospitalized after a “serious car accident” in Kenya and she had rushed to see her. That was Jepkosgei’s explanation for why she hadn’t been at home when doping testers visited on March 18, 2020, at a time when the former Diamond League race winner had listed herself as available.

The AIU ruling said Jepkosgei admitted the deception after the Kenyan anti-doping agency investigated her claims.

Police told anti-doping staff they had no record of the crash and the hospital confirmed a document presented by Jepkosgei was “forged,” the AIU said. Her admission earned her one year off the standard four-year sanction for a charge of “tampering” with the anti-doping process.

Jepkosgei hasn’t competed since 2019, when she won the 800 in the Rabat and Lausanne rounds of the Diamond League. Jepkosgei is in the process of switching allegiance from Kenya to Bahrain. She was due to be cleared to represent her new country in August.

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