Ethiopia’s African Games 10,000 metres champion Berehanu Tsegu has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), it has been announced.
Tsegu was still at teeanger in August when he won the African Games title in Rabat.
The previous month he set a personal best of 27min 00.73sec for 10,000m in Hengelo in The Netherlands.
Tsegu had run 27:56.81 when claiming victory at the African Games ahead of Eritrea’s Aron Kifle and Ethiopian team mate Jemal Yimer.
They are now set to be promoted to the gold and silver medal positions, with Edwin Soi of Kenyan moving from fourth to the bronze.
Tsegu, who turned 20 on September 30, also placed third at the Copenhagen half-marathon last month when a world record of 58:01 was set by Kenyan runner Geoffrey Kamworor.
Tsegu clocked a personal best of 59:22.
It was the third time he had run under 60 minutes this year having previously clocked 59:42 in Lisbon in March and 59:56 in Yangzhou in April.
Tsegu is just the latest in a growing long line of African runners to test positive for drugs.
Earlier this month, Morocco’s half-marathon record holder Mustapha El Aziz was banned for four years after testing positive for EPO.
Also this month, Kenyan marathon runner Philip Sanga Kimutai tested positive for testosterone and is facing a four-year ban if found guilty.
Last year, Kenya and Ethiopia were named top of a list of nations categorised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) most of risk at doping.
Along with Belarus and Ukraine, they were among four countries included in Category A – Member Federations the IAAF believe are most likely to have doping problems.
Doping products are reportedly easily available in Addis Ababa, the IAAF warned.
Following their inclusion on the list, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation launched a major education programme among young athletes to warn them of the dangers of doping.