NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26- A man accused of being part of an international conspiracy theory out to tarnish Kenya’s image in the athletics world was on Monday arraigned before the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Court.
Elias Kiptum who was arrested by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is accused of fanning false doping allegations against Kenyan athletes, with the motive of having the country locked out of the forthcoming Olympics championships in Japan.
He was caught during a probe by the Anti-Narcotic Unit detectives based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, who have been pursuing a criminal syndicate working with foreign journalists in fabricating information on doping in Athletics Kenya.
“Contract agreement documents between local suspects and the foreign journalists, three laptops, cell phones among other electronic gadgets were also confiscated from the suspect’s house and are undergoing forensic analysis at DCI Headquarters,” the DCI said.
The undercover investigation started in September last year when the suspect were found with documents suggesting doping was supported by several state agencies in the country.
Detectives say, the accused alongside others “had prepared documents purporting that doping was being promoted and encouraged by several state agencies in the country, with the aim of having Kenya suspended from participating in the forthcoming Olympics in Japan.”
The DCI said forged documents purportedly signed by officials from the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) and Athletics Kenya (AK) had been shared with the Europe-based journalists, “who have been part of the ring.”
Kiptum denied all 12 charges leveled against him and remains in custody pending bail ruling which has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Doping has in the past seen several athletes earn a ban from participating in events.
Kenya has adopted stringent measures to curb the menace, which is seen as a major threat to the number one marketing event to the country.
In December 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020 into law.
The new law amended the Anti-Doping Act of 2016 to align Kenya’s legislative framework with the 2021 World Anti-Doping code and regulations.
The anti-doping law also ensures the continued participation of Kenyan athletes in local, regional, and international competitions in line with the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention against doping in sports.