Investigators to take up doping bribery case, Kenya calls reports malicious

By evelyn watta
Aug 08, 2016
  • Expelled Kenya Athletics team manager Michale Rotich.(Photo:SNA)

  • Cabinet Secretary Sports, Dr Hassan Wario.(Photo: SNA File)

RIO DE JANEIRO, The Department of Criminal Investigations, will probe the allegations levelled against Athletics Kenya official Major(Retired) Michael Rotich that he was willing to accept up to Ksh.1.3 million to give athletes prior warning of doping tests.

Rotich was expelled from the games village on Saturday where he was leading the Track and field Kenyan team, after the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD secretly recorded him negotiating the offer with the under cover journalists.

Rotich who is still in Rio awaiting travel back home, told Sports News Arena that he was only cooperating with the 'coaches' so as to expose the doping cartels and he had no intentions of receiving the money.

Cabinet Secretary of Sports Dr Hassan Wario, who ordered Rotich out of the camp said he was ‘shocked by the allegations, but chose to dwell on the motive and the timing of the release of the media reports.

“The timing of the allegations just a few days before Athletics competition starts is very suspect. We believe there are people there who don’t want us to compete in this Olympics.They are trying different things,” Wario told Sports News Arena from the Games village in Rio where he went to meet the athletes.

Scheme to lock Kenya out of Rio 

“For Rotich we sent him back home because we have already started investigations with the CID on doping issues and we want him to help officers on the ground with any information that he may have. Our message is very clear we want to get to the bottom of this issue which is aimed at denting the image of Kenyan sport.” 

The Minister alleged there was a wider scheme to lock out Kenya from the Rio Olympics and portray that there is a culture of doping amongst the country’s famed long distance runners.

“It is too late to exclude Kenya from Rio.Our athletes are the most tested. We focus on clean athletics and sports men and women. There are people who have been trying any mechanisms to get Kenya out so that they can start winning other competitions they have never won.

With the compliance from WADA we will prove that Kenya was always clean and was ready to play ball with WADA,” said Wario.

IOC says Kenyans most tested athletes

“Even as we do, we take exception to the frivolous levelling of unsubstantiated allegations against our athletes or sports teams. It is disheartening that the ill timed story, whose veracity is dubious, comes as our Olympians prepare to compete. Those 85 young men and women have trained incredibly hard and endured multiple drug tests,” the Minister carried on the defensive stance in a released press statement.

A line of argument that was also upheld by the International Olympics Committee, who said the allegations were very serious.

"They are very serious allegations. We wait to see the evidence.The Kenyan track and field team is probably the most tested team in the past two years. There had been 416 tests on Kenyan athletes in competition and 432 out of competition. I don't think there can ever have been a stronger testing regime of athletes,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

According to the report and the video, Rotich seems to be discussing payment to give the athletes a one-day prior notice, claiming he was well acquainted with Anti doping officials, which gives credence to reports that there is indeed a wider scheme to cover up doping.

The minister disagreed but admitted that the video was crucial in making a decision to kick out the AK North Rift chairman from the games village.

“It is not true. It is an allegation that has to be investigated. This(The recordings) is what made us send him back home as the investigations follow its own path.”

Kenya was declared compliant with the WADA code on Friday, after twice failing to meet the deadline to have an Anti-Doping law in place.

“It was a very hard road getting here especially the issue of compliance hanging over our heads we must draw a line now and focus on what Kenya does well winning gold. We have to motivate our boys and girls that despite the hard road if you turn it the other way round it could be a motivation that we are clean athletes,” said Wario, confident that team Kenya will beat the odds here in Rio.

Since 2012, 40 athletes have failed doping tests including former Boston and Chicago winner Rita Jeptoo and the two-time winner of the World Cross Country Championships, Emily Chebet.