NAIROBI - Athletics Kenya on Friday banned two athletes including rising women's 800m runner Agatha Jeruto, after they were sanctioned by the International Association of Associations (IAAF) for doping.

The IAAF said Jeruto, 21 and marathon runner, Josephine Jepkorir, 26, had tested positive for the anabolic steroid, Nandrosterone. Jeruto, a former African bronze medallist, tested positive for the banned drug in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in April, and has been banned for four years. Jepkorir tested positive during a 10km road race in Luanda, Angola last December and has been handed a two-year ban.

Athletics Kenya (AK) said the result of the Luanda race, which Jepkorir won, and in the Ras Al Khaimah International half marathon in the United Arab Emirates, where she was placed fourth behind compatriot Mary Kaitany early this year, had been cancelled. "The athlete will therefore forfeit all titles, awards, medals, points, prize and appearance money from these races," AK said in a statement. The news comes when two other women athletes, Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary, are awaiting suspensions from the IAAF after they failed drug tests during the world championships in Beijing in August.

The suspensions led to Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto announcing that the government had set into motion plans to criminalise doping in the country, in a bid to curb the rising cases of athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

There are 38 doping cases involving Kenyan athletes since 2012, with about 15 of them currently serving bans.

A report by a German television station and the British newspaper, The Sunday Times, alleged that 18 Kenyans were among one third of the medallists at Olympic and world championships between 2001 and 2012 who had suspicious blood test results. Kenya was rocked this year when top marathon star Rita Jeptoo was banned for two years after being caught doping with the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO.