Probe report on suspended Kenya’s athletics bosses in March

Nairobi, Feb 16 (IANS) The probe report on three suspended top Athletics Kenya (AK) officials will be forwarded to the IAAF ethics commission next month, lawyer Sharad Rao who is conducting the investigations has said.

Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat, vice-president David Okeyo and former treasurer and team leader for the 2015 Beijing World Championships, Joseph Kinyua were suspended for 180 days by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after being accused of subverting anti-doping processes and potentially diverting sponsorship funds from apparel-maker Nike last November, reports Xinhua.

Kiplagat is also accused of accepting, either personally or on behalf of AK, an “apparent gift” of two motor vehicles from the Qatar Association of Athletics Federations in the period from 2014 to 2015. During that time Doha was bidding to host the 2019 world championships.

The former director of public prosecutions in Kenya, Rao, who was appointed by the IAAF’s ethics commission to lead the probe, revealed investigations into the three were almost complete.

“Latest by the end of March, but very likely by the middle of March. It’s not a verdict, what I will be doing report back to the IAAF Ethics Commission. If my report indicates there has been wrong doing, they will actually hear the matter,” he said on Monday.

“It’s not a verdict, but of course my investigation goes a long way towards establishing whether or not there is evidence to prove those allegations,” the former judge and chairman of Kenya’s past director of prosecutions in Kenya said.

The investigations come at a time when the country faces scrutiny over the spike in doping cases, with more than 40 Kenyan athletes failing tests since 2012.

Kiplagat is also accused of receiving car-donations personally or for the federation, from Qatar which won the right to stage the 2019 World Championships, in a November 2014 vote.

Qatar beat the bids by Eugene, Oregon and Barcelona to earn the right to stage the championships for the first time.

Rao said the IAAF is very serious because they have their problems also.

“Apart from being concerned about doping that brings a bad name and people cannot trust in results. If there are athletes performing under performance enhancing drugs, then obviously the result shown is not a genuine result,” he said.

“There are also sponsors withdrawing and the IAAF cannot afford that,” he added.

Before the suspensions, Kiplagat was well into his 23rd year at the helm of the most successful Kenyan federation whilst Okeyo had been voted into the IAAF’s council as a member, the senior decision making organ of the world body following the election congress at Beijing World Championships.

Kinyua was ousted as federation treasurer in 2012 but served as the chairman, Eastern Region, one of the 16 affiliate branches of AK.

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