By Paul Osborne

Tegla Loroupe has blamed foreign coaches for the increase in failed doping cases in Kenyan athletes ©Getty ImagesFormer marathon star Tegla Loroupe has blamed foreign coaches for the surge in doping cases involving Kenyan athletes.

More than 30 Kenyan runners have failed doping tests in the last two years, pulling a shadow over the state of the sport in the country.

Less than a fortnight ago, one of the nation's most successful marathon runners, Rita Jeptoo, was unveiled to have tested positive for the banned substance erythropoietin (EPO).

The shockwaves of this have been colossal in the marathon circle, with the World Marathon Major's postponing its awards ceremony, where Jeptoo was set to receive a share of the $1 million (£620,000/€800,000) prize pot after winning the Boston and Chicago Marathons in back-to-back years.

But Loroupe, who was the first woman from Africa to win the New York Marathon when she crossed the line in 2hr 27min 37sec in 1994, blames foreign coaches for the influx of positive doping cases in her home country.

"I don't blame our coaches," she told insidethegames.

"These athletes are being represented by foreigners.

"I think the Government have to be very concerned about this because it's a shame for the country and also for our athletes who are naive, they don't know much about the issue of drugs.

"You people from Western world, you know, and the small kids know what's going on.

"Some of us, they don't know anything about it.

"Our kids have been subjected, why?

"Because foreigners, they see the athletes from Kenya as a source of income and therefore they can do anything."

Tegla Loroupe's claims come after Rita Jeptoo became the latest Kenyan athlete to fail a doping test ©Getty ImagesTegla Loroupe's claims come after Rita Jeptoo became the latest Kenyan athlete to fail a doping test ©Getty Images

Following her positive results, Jeptoo's Italian agent, Federico Rosa, and her coach, Claudio Berardelli, were put under the media spotlight in relation to the failed test.

Both have consistently denied any involvement in the issue and have insisted that they are working with the anti-doping authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.

Despite his pleas of innocence, Rosa reputation has been surrounded by a cloud of controversy in recent years, however.

Another of his former athletes, Mathew Kisorio, tested positive for steroids at the 2012 Kenyan Athletics Championships and later admitted his guilt, although the athlete has stated that neither Rosa nor Berardelli had anything to do with his failed drug test.

In the same year, Jeptoo's training partner Jemima Sumgong, who finished second at the New York Marathon earlier this month, failed a drugs test after the Boston Marathon and was given a two-year ban by Athletics Kenya.

The decision to ban Sumgong was later reversed as the localised injection for bursitis was permissible under International Association of Athletics Federations anti-doping rules.

To read the full interview with Tegla Loroupe click here

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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