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Age cheating rocks Africa Youth Trials

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ROSEFELINE-CHEPNGETICHNAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – There was drama at the Africa Youth Games trials on Thursday after Africa Cross junior silver medallist, Andrew Lorot, was barred from competing over age cheating claims.

Lorot, who was preparing to run the boys’ 3000m race, suffered the shock when the vetting panel withdrew him over discrepancies in his identification documents that were found to differ from the one he presented at the selection event for last year’s IAAF World Youth Games where he was also disqualified.

Competition Director and the chairman of the Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president in charge of youth; Lt. General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, went on to warn athletes who were selected for the Botswana continental showdown in Gaborone, they risk facing the axe since vetting will continue even when they will be in camp.

“We had problems of identifying the correct age of athletes and today we came across two issues on age cheating. But I urge officials and athletes to avoid cheating since vetting will continue even if they are in camp.

“We will scrutinize their documents because we will follow up with their school and ministry of Education until we are satisfied that what they presented is correct but if we find out one has cheated, we will not hesitate from pulling him or her from the team since we have done it before,” Tuwei stated.

This led the AK Nairobi Branch that entered Lorot in the event to pen a protest letter to the jury of appeal, claiming the Form 2 student from Riruta Satellite Secondary school was illegible to compete since he used the same documents to run at the Kampala Africa Cross in Uganda this year where he took home the men’s 8km individual second medal in 22:50.19 as well as the team gold for Kenya.

“This has been a trend since it’s is not the first time they are denying athletes from Nairobi and we are saying it should stop and if they are not going to reinstate him we are going to court.

“The said athlete had all the necessary document to enable him be enrolled for the trials and I was surprised to hear the vetting panel say they disqualified him since he presented different document that he produced last year, concluding that he was overage,” part of the protest letter signed by branch Secretary General and national Race walking head coach, George Kariuki read.

Meanwhile, 2000m steeple chase World Youth girls’ champion Rosefeline Chepng’etich was among 14 athletes selected for Gaborone games that will run from May 22 to 31.

The team will head to camp next week and are set to depart on May 17.

The Championships will be used as qualifiers for the Youth Olympics Games that will be held in ‎Nanjing, China from Aug 16 to 28.

Selected team

200m – Maureen Thomas and Geofrey Kiprotich

400m – Purity Chepkoech and Ian Mutuku

400m Hurdles- Geoffrey Kipng’etich

800m – Agnes Mulee and Anthony Kiptoo

1500m – Winfred Mbithe and Gilbert Kwemoi

2000m s/c – Rosfline Chepng’etich and Amos Kirui

300m – Jackline Chepkoech and Moses Koech

Tripple Jump – Joptang Kipyego.

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