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- Athletics competitor from Kenya
ELDORET, Kenya, (Reuters) - Kenya's three-time world 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Moses Kiptanui has called for tough sanctions on athletes who fail doping tests, saying "big money" was behind the cheating. Dozens of Kenyan athletes have failed drugs tests in the past two years with government officials blaming the growing number of doping cases on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya's (AK) failure to educate its athletes properly. AK said on Monday that Kenyan distance runners Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo failed drugs tests and will be banned for two years, adding that tests from five other Kenyan athletes have aroused suspicion. The 1996 Olympics steeplechase silver medallist Kiptanui, who won gold medals in 1991, 1993 and 1995 world championships in the same event, said doping cases had risen alarmingly, and called on governments to make new laws to jail the culprits. "Officials, athletes and their managers are conspiring to cheat. Money, big money, is changing hands to beat the course of fairness," Kiptanui, 44, told Reuters. "When I raised the red flag a few years ago, officials condemned me... I was a top athlete and I knew what was going on. I am being vindicated," added Kiptanui at his department store in the north western town of Eldoret, where he also runs a chain of businesses including real estate. In October, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, failed an out-of-competition doping test, and was suspended from competition pending testing of a B sample to be carried out this week. Kenyan distance runner and winner of this year's London and New York marathons Wilson Kipsang also missed an out-of-competition drugs test in November, AK said on Tuesday. Kipsang missed the test on Nov. 13, and was requested by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to provide an explanation, which he did on Nov. 23. In a statement on Wednesday, Kipsang accused AK of professional misconduct by disclosing the matter to the public. Kipsang said he missed the dope test while representing Kenya at a global athletics conference in South Africa. AK officials were not immediately available to comment. (Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Ken Ferris)