Kenyan long-distance runner Felix Kirwa has been suspended for nine months after testing positive for the banned stimulant strychnine, which is commonly known as rat poison.
The Athletics Integrity Unit has suspended the 23-year-old from competition for nine months after Strychnine, a banned stimulant commonly used as rat poison – was found when Kirwa was tested following the 2018 Singapore Marathon on December 9, in which he finished as the runner-up.
Kirwa has been disqualified and stripped of his second-place finish.
His ban has been reduced from the maximum of two years, however, as the AIU said it is satisfied Kirwa used the herbal medicine products for therapeutic reasons.
The AIU revealed Kirwa had provided them with documents showing his use of herbal medicine products including “Arthritis Care” and”Goodcare Arthplus” to treat arthritis containing Strychnos nuxvomica, which contains Strychnine.
In its ruling, however, the AIU said Kirwa has been banned because “he did not exercise utmost caution to ensure that he did not use a prohibited substance”, and violated International Association of Athletics Federations anti-doping rules.
Strychnine is a strong performance enhancement stimulant which helps athletes to increase running stamina and boost endurance over long distances.
However, the banned drug has serious side effects, including restlessness and muscle spasms.
Plus it’s Rat Poison, so there’s that.
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