Kenyan long-distance runner Patrick Siele has been handed a ban of three years and six months by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for doping.Also Read - 400m Runner Nirmala Sheoran Banned For Four Years For Doping

The AIU said in a statement that Siele ran away from anti-doping personnel and an independent witness confirmed that he “hurdled a fence to escape from the compound” in Kapsabet in west Kenya on December 18, 2019. His sanction has been backdated to March 16, 2020. Also Read - Kenya's Kiprop tested positive, no mix-up - AIU

“The AIU has banned Kenyan long-distance runner Patrick Siele for three years & six months from 16 March 2020, for evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, a violation of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules,” AIU said on their official Twitter handle on Thursday. Also Read - Athlete Jithin Paul Banned For Four Years For Possessing Banned Drug Meldonium

AIU further said although Siele, 24, was subject to a four-year ban, he admitted to the violation, hence a reduction of the sanction by six months.

Siele joins the long list of Kenyan athletes to be sanctioned in recent years, including 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo and 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong.