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THE CLEAN MACHINE; Too good' Kipchoge blasts back at drug suggestions.

Byline: exclusive BY ALEX SPINK Rugby Correspondent @alexspinkmirror

MARATHON king Eliud Kipchoge has told sceptics of his incredible performance that he could not live with himself if he was cheating.

The world record holder took his fourth London title on Sunday, smashing the course record and easily beating Mo Farah (right).

He has now won 10 consecutive marathons at a time when a number of his fellow Kenyan athletes have failed drugs tests.

Half-marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum was kicked out of the London race on Friday after being provisionally suspended for an athlete biological passport violation.

Olympic champions Asbel Kiprop (1500m) and Jemima Sumgong, (marathon) are both serving four-year bans.

Kip-choge, 34, is distance running's Usain Bolt, a serial gatherer of world records, gold medals and major titles. But such is the mistrust in athletics due to the sins of too many for too long, nobody is above suspicion.

The morning after romping to victory in 2hrs, 2mins, 37secs (right), Kipchoge insisted he is the real deal.

"It is totally important for me to show that you can win clean," he said. "To show the next generation what is possible.

"I cannot stand in front of kids around the world and tell them to love the sport if I am not honest and true to myself.

"They would say, 'You took a short cut to show your greatness,' and that would destroy me. I need the fans to believe which is why I work hard."

"Kipchoge tops the IAAF world male rankings ahead of American sprinter Noah Lyles, with Reece Prescodsw (t 47th) and Farah (51st) the top-rated Brits.

And coach Patrick Sang insists the best is still to come from an athlete who is a major obstacle to Farah's twin dreams of London Marathon glory and an fifth Olympic gold in Tokyo next year.

SsaodMfi T Neither man has confirmed his plans for the next 18 months and the margin of Farah's defeat - more than three minutes - could have a bearing. But Kipchoge expects him to come back stronger.

"I hope and expect Mo will keep pushing me," he said. "I think he has a faster time in him."

Hayley Carruthers, the NHS radiographer who collapsed yards from the finish and had to crawl over the line, was back at work yesterday.

"My head was gone," said the 26-year-old who finished 18th. "I couldn't lift my legs at all. It was petrifying. I didn't think I could finish."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Apr 30, 2019
Words:411
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