Marathoner Endeshaw Negesse is the first of several Ethiopian athletes to reportedly have recently tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (~doping), according to Andrea Buongiovanni of the La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.

Endeshaw Negesse, 27, was the winner of the 2015 Tokyo Marathon and holds a personal best of 2:04:52 from the 2013 Dubai Marathon.

On Monday, Ethiopia’s anti-doping agency announced it is investigating nine runners, five of which are considered “top athletes,” for suspicious results in doping tests.

Abeba Aregawi, the 2013 world 1,500 meter champion, was born in Ethiopia and switched allegiances to Sweden in 2012. She tested positive for Meldoinium and has been suspended until the results of her B-sample are revealed. Meldoinium was not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency until Jan. 1.

Endeshaw Negesse also tested positive for Meldoinium, according to Andrea Buongiovanni. He was expected to compete at the 2016 London Marathon in April.

See also:

Abeba Aregawi, World 1500m Champion, Fails Drug Test

Negesse, Dibaba Win as Ethiopians Dominate Tokyo Marathon

Ethiopia Anti-doping Agency: 9 Athletes under Investigation

Russian Whistleblower Calls for Doping Spotlight on Ethiopia and Kenya

Ethiopia’s Endeshaw Negesse and Birhane Dibaba won Tokyo Marathon

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