Nairobi, July 10 (IANS) International athletics managers are considering quitting Kenya over what they term as intimidation by authorities after one of their own, Italian Federico Rosa, was brought before court as investigations on doping allegations against him continue.
Speaking on Saturday after his son Federico was released on a $3,000 cash bail by a local court, Dr. Gabrielle Rosa — who founded the renowned Rosa Associati firm that has represented a slew of famous Kenyan athletes — regretted the case could adversely affect the country’s biggest sporting import, reports Xinhua.
“I’m not happy with the case, it is not true and to make matters worse its dated way back to 2004. It is incredible that it’s being done after 12 years. It has affected me emotionally and I feel bad since we have invested a lot in this country,” the distraught elder Rosa charged.
“I shall have to reconsider my want to continue working in Kenya. Most managers and even agents feel intimidated by this matter and they just want to pack up and leave,” he added.
“We have spent 26 years in this country and invested a lot in the growth of athletics and athletes. I’m very upset.”
Although he was not brought in front of Nairobi’s Kibera Law Court, Anti-Narcotics Police Unit arrested Gabrielle together with his son in the northern town of Eldoret during the Kenyan trials for the Rio Olympics held on June 30 and July 1.
A search of their rooms for prohibited substances yielded nothing and they were asked to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (CID) headquarters; where they were grilled on Monday and Tuesday.
Federico was first arraigned in court on Wednesday and remanded for two days before he was granted bail and the case deferred to Jul. 14 as police asked for more time to complete their investigations into doping allegations.
During Friday’s hearing, it emerged that Elijah Kiprono Boit, who finished fourth at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary and fifth at the 2004 World Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy over 800m is the complainant in the case facing the renowned Italian manager.
The magistrate deferred the case to give police time to provide the medical records from 2004 to 2008 of the now retired athlete who was once under the Rosa stable.
Lawyers Moses Kurgat, Katwa Kigen and Ruth Kirunga represented Federico with one of his biggest clients, Beijing 2008 Olympics and three-time men 1,500m champion, Asbel Kiprop, among those in court to follow the proceedings.
“The prosecution asked more time to finalize. We found it very remarkable that the allegations date back to 2004 and 2008. So the prosecution wanted more time to get the medical reports,” Kigen stated.
This is the first time in the country’s history that agents have been brought before court with the arrest of the Rosas creating a ripple effect in the nation struggling with a doping crisis.
Besides Kiprop, the Rosa camp has Bedan Karoki (men 10,000m), Jemimah Sumgong (women marathon), Stanley Biwott (men marathon), Eunice Sum (women 800m), Mercy Cherono (women 5,000m) and Paul Tanui (men 10,000m) in Kenya’s provisional squad for the Rio 2016 Games.
“My client has invested a lot in athletics. They ran three camps in Kapsabet, Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet and in Kapsait at the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and Pokot. They have also been able to secure eight world records and currently managing about 140 runners and six of them are going to the Olympics,” Kigen added.