By Paul Osborne

Rita Jeptoo has allegedly tested positive for a banned substance in a urin sample taken last month ©Getty ImagesKenya's Rita Jeptoo has allegedly tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) prior to her victory at the Chicago Marathon earlier this month, leading the World Marathon Majors (WMM) to postpone this weekend's awards ceremony.

A report from American site runblogrun had claimed that Jeptoo, who also the Boston Marathon earlier this month, tested positive at the end of a September for a banned substance in an out-of-competition testing.

The news was later confirmed by Athletics Kenya.

"Athletics Kenya is disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) in regards to the doping test results of above named athlete through the A sample collected during out of competition on 25th September 2014," they said in a statement. 

The violation alleged to happened during an out of competition procedure in Kenya, home of the 33-year-old three-time Boston Marathon champion, during her training for the race in Chicago on October 12. 

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, Jeptoo will now have the opportunity to have her B sample tested. 

Jeptoo sits top of the WMM Series leaderboard with 100 points after winning the Boston and Chicago Marathons in both 2013 and 2014.

The allegations against Jeptoo led to the WMM postponing this weekend's awards ceremony where Jeptoo was set to receive a share of the $1 million (£620,000/€800,000) prize fund, split evenly between the top male and female point earners.

In a statement this afternoon, the WMM wrote: "World Marathon Majors is disappointed to learn that Rita Jeptoo has apparently had an A test that proved positive for a banned substance under IAAF rules.

"World Marathon Majors has been at the forefront of the fight against doping in our sport and has a rule that no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title, who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules.

"WMM events were the first major events to confirm that all elite athletes taking part in their events would be blood tested and have consistently called for wider testing by others.

"Additionally, WMM has previously agreed that any athlete found guilty of a doping offence will not be invited back to its races.

"At present there has been no decision in this case by the IAAF, including in relation to sanctions, and as a result WMM is unable to comment further until that determination has been made although in the circumstances it has been decided to postpone the WMM Awards Ceremony that was due to take place on the November 2, 2014."

Rita Jeptoo allegedly failed the drugs test prior to winning the Chicago Marathon earlier this month, her fourth successive World Marathon Major title ©Getty ImagesRita Jeptoo allegedly failed the drugs test prior to winning the Chicago Marathon earlier this month, her fourth successive World Marathon Major title ©Getty Images

Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London Marathon and general counsel of WMM, added: "WMM has always held a stern line on drugs cheats and has been proactively supporting the sports governing bodies to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races.

"Cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught."

Following the initial report, Athletics Kenya President, Isaiah Kiplagat, had claimed 
they had not received word from the IAAF or WADA on the claims.

"I'm aware of the online reports about Jeptoo but until IAAF and WADA inform us officially, we cannot comment on the matter since it is a very serious issue," he had said.

"We don't want to pre-empt anything and once we receive official communication, we shall address the issue."

Jeptoo was reportedly at Athletics Keyna's Riadha House headquarters in Nairobi yesterday at a time she was supposed to have travelled to New York City for the award ceremony of the WMM.

"She could have been here for other things," Kiplagat added.

"What I know she is supposed to attend the Marathon Majors presentation in New York."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
October 2014: Kenya dominates as Kipchoge leads clean-sweep at Chicago Marathon
September 2014: Three men and three women prepare to do battle for World Marathon Majors crowns
April 2014: Keflezighi and Jeptoo win Boston Marathon one year on from deadly bombing
October 2013: Kimetto and Jeptoo make it another Kenyan clean sweep in Chicago Marathon