The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has just announced the latest athlete that’s been provisionally suspended for doping, and to the shock and dismay of many, it was Uganda’s very own rising middle- and long-distance runner, Prisca Chesang.

Chesang’s suspension

Doping is often seen as a last resort for athletes who have exhausted all other avenues for success in the sport, so Chesang’s involvement with doping and suspension came as a complete surprise, as she was on the cusp of success.

The youngster has had her fair share of achievements in recent years. The Ugandan athlete had won the bronze medal in the 5000 metres and placed fourth in the 3000 meters at the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships. The following year, Chesang replicated her victory in the 5000 meters event and again snagged a bronze medal for her country.

Her win at the 2022 edition was especially noteworthy and well-received because it was Uganda’s only medal in the competition. 

In addition, Chesang also competed in the 10-kilometer San Silvestre Vallecana road race in 2022, finishing ahead of a strong field of many older and more seasoned long-distance runners. She beat Francine Niyonsaba and Beatrice Chepkoech to win the title in an incredible time of 30:19.

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Her accomplishments stood testament to her talents and skills that were well beyond her years, and there was no doubt that she was poised to become one of Uganda’s most outstanding track and field athletes. 

However, with AIU’s latest findings and suspension, Chesang’s career will be forced to take a back seat.

AIU’s report

Declared on December 6, the AIU has provisionally suspended Chesang for the ‘presence or use of a prohibited substance’ called Furosemide, which is a flagrant breach of the World Anti-Doping Rules. The 20-year-old has been charged under Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

According to Running Magazine, furosemide has been prohibited by WADA for decades because, despite being a diuretic medication that increases urination and helps the body rid itself of excess water and salt, it also hides the presence of other performance-enhancing substances in the body.

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