Athletes turn up the heat on AK over doping after managers' detention

By emmanuel sabuni
Jul 06, 2016
  • Athletes from the two camps ran my their Italian managers came out in support of their bosses who are being held by the police.

Athletics Kenya,AK is once again on the spot over its handling of doping cases in Kenya as athletes from Rosa and Associati camps defended their managers Gabriella and Federico Rosa from the doping charges.

Federico appeared in court on Wednesday and was detained pending further investigations at the Gigiri Police. Dr Gabriella was questioned and released without any charges.

Mathew Kisorio, a former world cross country junior silver medalist took issue with AK over the handling of the doping cases locally. About 40 Kenyan athletes have  returned positive tests over the last five years.

Kisorio who was banned for two years claimed he confessed to AK on who had administered to him the banned drugs but no action was taken against them.

“I am surprised by the turn of events in this country. I gave Athletics Kenya everything they needed on how I was doped. I shared with them the chemist and doctors who did that to me innocently but they did not take that matter seriously,” Kisorio alleged from Eldoret where he was flanked by fellow athletes from the Rosa-managed camps based in Kaptagat and Kapsabet, adding that it was unfair for their manager to be wrongfully punished.

The double (5,000 &10 000)Africa junior champion said he appeared before AK hearings severally and bared how the doctors conducted the illegal practices from their pharmacies. 

Former AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat and one of the Vice chairmen David Okeyo were suspended by the IAAF and have been under investigations for doping coverups and funds mismanagement.

“I appeared at AK headquarters several times but they neglected what I told them. Now they are claiming Federico, Claudio and Gabriella are doping athletes. For me those people, managers are innocent.

"AK knows the truth about doping in this country. May be they are people behind the grilling agenda. Grilling one manager for over 40 athletes involved in doping is bad. I support the efforts of fighting doping but not for someone to suffer innocently,” added Kisorio.

Some of the athletes who attended the media briefing were Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop, world silver medalist Paul Tanui and London marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, who are all part of the Kenya's team of 50 track and field athletes listed for Rio.

KIprop shocked by manager's arrest

Kiprop, a triple world champion and Olympic champion said he was shocked by his manager's arrest. He has been with the camp managed by the Italians for seven years.

 “Am sending my concerns about my agent who is being grilled. We are not here to obstruct justice but to shed light where the truth is. As athletes, we are against doping and we don’t dope. There are some athletes who have doped before but not under our management.

"They are not given drugs by management. We have witnessed that for a long time in the past with three athletes from the management and this caused discomfort amongst the management,” he claimed.

With the Olympics fast approaching, Kiprop was concerned that this could affect their preparations.

“This is not the right time to juggle with athletes since we are preparing for Olympics. We want the government to help us find the truth and avoid grilling innocent individuals and go for individual doctors who gave drugs to Kisorio.

"He named them but no step was taken against them. I have worked with them for the past seven years and I have never seen such a thing happening and I have never been given drugs or lured into doping. They should give us ample time to prepare for Olympics,” said Kiprop.

Reigning London marathon champion Jemima Sumgong also voiced her disappointment.

“As athletes from Rosa company, we are surprised by the trend of arresting the agents. I have been in this company since 2007. I have never seen or heard of doping or any associations with doping,” said Sumgong.

Her words were echoed by Stanley Biwott who will be competing for Kenya in the marathon for the first time.

"As athletes from Rosa, we are very clean.Those allegations don’t happen in the management but elsewhere. The matter should be taken seriously as we support anti-doping process,” he said.

“They should look into the doping menace that will destroy us as athletes. The talent we were given by God, will be well used to run and using drugs is an abuse to God,"added Paul Tanui, the two-time World bronze medallist.