Asbel Kiprop

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Asbel Kiprop
Asbel Kiprop Hengelo 2009-2.jpg
Kiprop at the 2009 FBK Games
Personal information
Born (1989-06-30) 30 June 1989 (age 33)
Uasin Gishu
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight62 kg (137 lb)[1]
SportTrack and field
Event(s)800 metres, 1500 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 meters: 1:43.15[2]
1500 meters: 3:26.69[2]
Mile 3:48.50[2]

Asbel Kipruto Kiprop (born 30 June 1989) is a Kenyan middle-distance runner, who specialises in the 1500 metres. He was awarded the 1500 m gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics after the original winner, Rashid Ramzi, tested positive for doping.[3] Kiprop has won three World Championship titles in the event, in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Kiprop failed his own doping test in November 2017 and received a four-year doping ban.[4]

He won his first major title at the 2007 All-Africa Games, taking the 1500 m gold medal, and also won the event at the 2010 African Championships in Athletics, improving upon a bronze medal performance from 2008. His personal best for the distance is 3:26.69.


The 2007 season became his breakthrough year, when he won junior race gold medal at the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships[5] and then the 1500 m gold at the All-Africa Games.[6] He ran a personal best to finish fourth in the 1500 m at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.[7] In recognition of his achievements, he won the Most Promising Sportsman of the Year category at the 2007 Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year awards.[8]

Asbel Kiprop winning the 1500m at the 2016 Doha Diamond League Meeting

He ran at the 2008 African Championships in Athletics and took the bronze medal in the 800 m and came fourth in the 1500 m race. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kiprop was narrowly beaten by Bahraini Rashid Ramzi for the gold medal.[9] However, Kiprop was awarded the gold medal after Ramzi tested positive for CERA, a banned substance which is a newer version of the more commonly known EPO.[10][11] He is the youngest ever winner of the title, a record previously held by Arnold Jackson since 1912. Kiprop has stated he is not very happy about the way he won the gold medal.[12] He ended the year with a silver medal at the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final, finishing behind the African champion Haron Keitany.

At the 2009 World Athletics Championships, in Berlin, Kiprop disappointed many when he finished fourth for the second time in the 1500 m.[13] Kiprop also participated in the 800 m but was eliminated in the semi-finals.

He won the gold in the 1500 m at the 2010 African Championships in Athletics, running a championship record time of 3:36.19 to win in Nairobi.[14] He competed on the 2010 IAAF Diamond League circuit that year and after victories at the Bislett Games, Prefontaine Classic and British Grand Prix, he went on to secure the inaugural 1500 m Diamond League title with a win at the final event at the Memorial van Damme. He represented Africa at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup, but managed only sixth place.[15]

He ran at the 2011 Great Edinburgh Cross Country in January, taking second place in the short race behind Eliud Kipchoge.[16] Later that year he became world champion over 1500 m, defeating his Kenyan rival, Silas Kiplagat at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. Kiprop ran the final 800 meters of the race well under 1:50 and the final 400 meters in 51 seconds plus. Kiprop was leading in the rankings of the 2011 IAAF Diamond League, having won at the Bislett Games Dream Mile and placed second at the Shanghai, Paris and Stockholm meets. However, at the event final at the Weltklasse Zürich, he managed only seventh while Nixon Chepseba won to take the seasonal title.[17]

He had his best cross country race since he was a junior runner at the Edinburgh race in 2012, defeating a field which contained Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele.[18]

In July 2013, he won the Herculis (Monaco Diamond League) 1500 in a time of 3:27.72, making him the fourth fastest man ever at the distance yet still not achieving the meet record. On 18 August, at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Kiprop won the 1500 metres in 3:36.28.

In 2015, Kiprop set a meeting record for 1500 metres at the Monaco Diamond League event in a time of 3:26.69. This puts him third on the all-time list over the distance. One month later, Kiprop won his third consecutive 1500 meter world championship title in Beijing.

In 2016, Kiprop failed to win another Olympic Title in Rio, finishing in a disappointing sixth place. He blamed his shock loss on the fact that his fellow countryman Elijah Manangoi was not present in the race.[19] Matthew Centrowitz of the USA won the race in a time of 3:50:00, one of the slowest winning 1500m times in Olympic history.

Doping implications[edit]

On May 2, 2018, it was first reported that Kiprop had tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance EPO in November 2017.[20] The test results were later confirmed by the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit.[21] Kiprop maintained that he would fight to prove his innocence, but he was found guilty and given a four-year doping ban in April 2019.[22][4]

In April 2019, he threatened to harm the IAAF and National Police Service by saying on Twitter "I pray to National Police Service to dismiss me Now. Before I use their machinery to earn myself Justice. Kindly. IAAF come take your medals."[23]

Personal life[edit]

Kiprop is from Kaptinga village, near Eldoret. He is a son of David and Julia Kebenei. His father David Kebenei was also an athlete, who participated in the 1987 All-Africa Games in Kenya and finished fourth in the 1500 metres race. Kiprop started running at the age of 13, while at Simat School. Later he dropped out of high-school to concentrate on training.[24] Kiprop trains at the Kipchoge Keino High Performance Training Centre in Eldoret.[25] He was, however, expelled from the camp in 2009 for breaking the rules by bringing his girlfriend to the centre.[19] His younger brother Victor Kipchirchir Kebenei is also a 1500 metres runner.[26]

After being handed a 4 year ban for doping violations, Kiprop turned to his close friends for support. This led to a release of a semi-nude show that publicly displayed the adultery between Kiprop and his friend's wife. "I was desperate. It is too much. I wanted attention. I hate what I am feeling. When people tell me not to post how I am feeling on social media, I do not know how to stop,” Kiprop states.[27]

Kiprop has stated his first name, Asbel, means determined.[28]


Personal bests[edit]

Distance Time Place Date
800 metres 1:43.15 Monaco 2011-07-22
1500 metres 3:26.69 Monaco 2015-07-17
One mile 3:48.50 Eugene, Oregon 2009-06-07
3000 metres 7:42.32 Turin 2007-06-08

All Information taken from IAAF profile.[1]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 1st Junior race
All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 1st 1500 m 3:38.97
World Championships Osaka, Japan 4th 1500 m 3:35.24
2008 African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 3rd 800 m 1:46.02
Olympic Games Beijing, China 1st 1500 m 3:33.11
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 1500 m 3:37.93
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 19th (sf) 800 m 1:52.05
4th 1500 m 3:36.47
2010 African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 1st 1500 m 3:36.19
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 1500 m 3:35.69
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 12th 1500 m 3:43.83
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st 1500 m 3:36.28
2014 IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 1st 4 × 1500 m 14:22.22
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 1st 1500 m 3:34.40
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 6th 1500 m 3:50.87
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 9th 1500 m 3:37.24


  1. ^ a b c Athlete profile for Asbel Kiprop: Asbel Kiprop biography
  2. ^ a b c All-Athletics. "Profile of Asbel KIPROP".
  3. ^ Olympic champ's dope test confirmed. The Times (South Africa). 7 July 2009 Archived 13 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b "Asbel Kiprop: Former Olympic champion given four-year doping ban". 20 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  5. ^ World Cross Country Championships 2007 – Results – Junior Race M Final Archived 3 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (24 March 2007). Retrieved on 9 August 2012.
  6. ^ All-Africa Games.
  7. ^ Osaka 2007 – 1500 Metres M Final Archived 17 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. (29 August 2007). Retrieved on 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ SOYA Awards – 2007 winners. Retrieved on 9 August 2012.
  9. ^ Olympic Games 2008 – Results 08-19-2008 – 1500 Metres M Final Archived 19 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (19 August 2008). Retrieved on 9 August 2012.
  10. ^ Kenya's Kiprop eyes Olympic gold as Ramzi failed dope test. (30 April 2009). Retrieved on 9 August 2012.
  11. ^ Ramzi stripped of Olympic 1,500-meter gold medal
  12. ^ Reuters India, 20 November 2009: Kiprop downcast over belated Olympic gold
  13. ^ Mutwiri Mutuota (20 August 2009). Jepkosgei bags silver as Kiprop disappoints. Reuters.
  14. ^ Negash, Elshadai (1 August 2010). Kenya captures five gold medals as African champs conclude in Nairobi – African champs, day 5. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 January 2011.
  15. ^ James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota (1 September 2010). Focus on Athletes – Asbel Kiprop. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 January 2011.
  16. ^ Wenig, Jorg (8 January 2011). Kipchoge and Masai prevail in snowy Edinburgh. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 January 2011.
  17. ^ Weltklasse Zürich Zürich (SUI) – Thursday, Sep 08, 2011. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 January 2012. Archived 7 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Wenig, Jorg (7 January 2012). Kiprop triumphs in race of champions, Bekele a distant 11th – Edinburgh XC report. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 January 2012.
  19. ^ a b Chasing forbidden fruit? The Standard (30 March 2009).
  20. ^ Ingle, Sean (2 May 2018). "Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop 'tested positive' for EPO". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^[bare URL PDF]
  22. ^ "'Traumatised' Kiprop vows to 'fight'". BBC Sport.
  23. ^ "Asbel Kiprop asks National Police Service to dismiss him, threatens to 'misuse' his gun". Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  24. ^ Kiprop pledges to 'rule the world'. Daily Nation (17 August 2007).[dead link]
  25. ^ The Standard, 30 March 2007:Kiprop snubs party, turns eyes on track[dead link]
  26. ^ Daily Nation, 8 August 2009: Will Asbel be third time golden?
  27. ^ Rutto, Mercy Adhiambo and Stephen. "Asbel Kiprop now opens up about his mistakes, women and doping". The Standard. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  28. ^ Kiprop, the future of 1500m running?. (17 July 2008). Retrieved on 9 August 2012.

External links[edit]