Athletics Kenya suspends two agents, bans Kenyan coach over doping and rule violations

By evelyn watta
Apr 13, 2015
  • Federico Rosa of Rosa Associati when he appeared for Rita Jepoo's hearing at Riadha House.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Athletics Kenya has suspended two of the country's leading track and field agents, Rosa Associati and Volare Sports for six months, within which the Federation expects investigations into the managers’ role in the positive doping cases and other violations, will be complete.

AK on Monday announced the closure of the Keringet training camp ran by former national cross-country team coach Charles Ng’eno who has in the past used training programs designed by one of the most successful athletics coach Italian Renato Canova and banned the local tactician from handling any local athletes’ indefinitely.

Rosa Associati camp managed by Italian Federico Rosa who coached leading marathoner Rita Jeptoo who is currently serving a two-year ban for EPO, and handles several Kenyan athletes including reigning World champions Eunice Sum (800m), Asbel Kiprop(1500m) is being probed by the AK Medical and Doping commission, the newly established Anti- Doping Agency of Kenya and the Kenya Police as he had three top level runners implicated in doping in the last four years.

AK cracked the whip on Gerard Van de Veen of the Netherlands who manages the reigning world marathon record holder Dennis Kimmeto and former holder Wilson Kipsang, Geoffrey Mutai, two time New York winner among others under Volare Sports for purportedly violating unspecified AK rules.

Kipsang  was last November warned publicly by AK for skipping a mandatory out of competition doping test and he had not reportedly  informed the Federation of his whereabouts.

The 2013 London marathon champion is also the chairman of the Professional Athletics Association of Kenya, a body that has been pushing for the resignation of the AK boss over various issues including the upsurge in doping cases locally.

Sportsnewsarena contacted the two agents. Federico said he was yet to receive any official communication from AK while Van de Veen requested for time to settle as ‘he had just arrived home from an oversees trip’.

“The Executive Committee has decided to suspend two agents so that investigations on various aspects can be carried out, and when the results are out we shall consider whether they can be readmitted back. For Rosa and Asssociati it is clear. For Van de Veen people will ask why? There are some cases within his camp that have violated AK rules that will be revealed by the investigations,” said AK President Isaiah Kiplagat who also announced that he would be stepping down from his role at the end of April 2015 as he seeks the IAAF Vice President’s post.

“They (the two agents) manage the highest number of athletes in the country so we shall liaise with IAAF and promoters to agree on the modalities how we are going to manage these athletes that they don’t miss competition,” added Kiplagat exercising the Federations prerogative to clear agents who handle its runners who must also be cleared by AK before any races abroad.

Keringet camp closed indefintely

"We shall soon appoint someone how best to manage the affected athletes from within the Federation as we are allowed by the IAAF that any athlete that has no agent will be handled by the Federation."

Rosa handled Mathew Kisorio two years ago when he failed the drug test and distanced himself from the positive tests.

He also coached banned sprinter Amantle Montsho of Botswana.

Van De Veen has allegedly been swaying runners under his stable to skip national team duties for his preferred races.

Keringet camp, has produced some of the country’s leading middle distance female runners led by World junior cross country champion Faith Chepngetich and steeplechaser Rosfeline Chepngetich.

The AK Executive which met early Monday accused Ng’eno of manipulating athletes which has impacted on the national teams performances and training them in pathetic conditions.

“It is clear that the manager of the camp seems to be manipulating the athletes especially the female athletes. As you know Mercy Chebgowen is no longer running we are yet to know what happen, Chepngetich had a fractured foot which we only discovered during the national cross country camp in Embu and we had not been told by the manager.The Coach has been banned immediately and indefinitely,”Kiplagat said adding that the camp had also been found to be in deplorable conditions.

He added that the Athletics body would arrange to relocate the affected runners to a nearby camp and also find a suitable coach for them. Ng’eno was one of the assistant coaches who handled the national cross-country team to the World cross-country championships in 2013 to Poland alongside Sammy Rono.