Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Athletics Kenya has barred athlete management companies Rosa Associati and Volare Sports from working with any Kenyan athletes for six months, while it completes an investigation. At present, it is unclear as to whether Athletics Kenya is conducting a general investigation into doping, or suspects that the companies have been involved with doping athletes. Athletics Kenya announced the decision on 13 April, after a meeting of its Executive in Nairobi.
“There have been a lot of reports relating to doping in Kenya and a lot of fingers pointed at people, agents, doctors and pharmacists”, Athletics Kenya Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat told the media. “In the meantime, as a federation we have decided to suspend two agents for the time being, so that investigations can be carried out and when the results are out, we will decide whether they can come back. The two we are going to mention manage the highest number of elite athletes. We will therefore work with the IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] and meet promoters of the Diamond League and so forth, to agree on the modalities of how we will manage these athletes so that they do not miss competition. This suspension – or the Kenyan way of stepping aside – will be for a period of six months. The two that we have today decided to put aside are Rosa Associati and Gerard van der Veen.”
Rosa Associati represented Rita Jeptoo, whom Athletics Kenya banned for two years on 2 February, after a positive test for erythropoietin (EPO). The company also represented Amantle Montsho, who is appealing a two-year sanction following a positive test at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The company also represented marathon runner Mathew Kisorio, who recently completed a 2012 two-year ban after testing positive for steroids. Kisorio was involved in German journalist Hajo Seppelt’s 2012 investigation into doping in the Kenyan city of Eldoret, which is a gateway city for altitude training in Kenya. He told Seppelt that many Kenyan athletes were doping and that Athletics Kenya was ignoring the situation.
Volare Sports specialises in representing Kenyan marathon runners and includes current World Record holder Dennis Kimetto on its books, as well as London 2012 gold medal winner Wilson Kipsang. Kipping (pictured) has threatened to sue Athletics Kenya, after it published details of a doping test he had missed. “As long as I don’t have any official message from Athletics Kenya, I don’t give any reaction”, said Gerard van der Veen, who heads the company.
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