NAIROBI, November 2- Federico Rosa, the manager of champion female marathoner, Rita Jeptoo alongside her coach, Claudio Berardelli, have disowned the Boston and Chicago titleholder after her A-Sample tested positive for banned substances.
Reputed athletics website, LetsRun.com reported the two figure heads of Rosa Associati, the firm that manages the 33 year-old have denied knowledge of illegal drug use of their star client who is waiting for tests on her B-Sample after she failed an out of competition test conducted in September.
“I feel stupid. I feel like I’m no longer able to do this job — I don’t know what is my real impact because now it seems like there is something going on behind the scenes,” Berardelli, who has coached Jeptoo since 2012 told the website in the run up to Sunday’s New York Marathon.
”It will destroy the system,” Berardelli added on the disastrous impact on Kenyan athletics should her B-Sample test positive for what is reported to use of proscribed blood boosting EPO.
According to LetRun.com, Jeptoo who clinched an equal share of the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors series jackpot of USD500, 000 after winning Boston and Chicago marathons twice in succession told Italian national Berardelli she was confused and did not understand what was happen.
The coach told Jeptoo who made history by becoming the first athlete, male or female to score the maximum 100 points in the two-year cycle WMM with 25 awarded for each victory, had not admitted to anything yet.
“If the story of Rita can be the key to open the door of the dirty system, please let Rita pay for it,” Berardelli said.
Manager Rosa was ‘disappointment with the news Jeptoo had tested positive and equally adamant he had nothing to do with it’ while expressing ‘100 percent’ Berardelli had nothing to do with it.
“If there wasn’t a problem you wouldn’t be talking to me,” he added on whether doping was a problem in Kenya as he promised to take a tough stance against Jeptoo if her B-Sample fails just as he did against former client and Kenya captain to the 2011 World Cross, Matthew Kisorio, when he was busted for steroid use in 2012. Kisorio has since returned to competition after serving a two-year ban.
Jeptoo is scheduled to meet Athletics Kenya (AK) Medical Commission this week after being summoned by the federation last Thursday when the news was broken to her.
After AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat, initially denied communication from world body IAAF, the federation issued a statement late Thursday confirming the development in an incident that has thrown the Kenyan athletics fraternity into shock.
However, questions swirl over the management since another of their athletes, former Boston Marathon runner-up, Jemima Sumgong who was in the elite field for New York Marathon also failed a drug test in 2012 but was eventually cleared.
Sumgong tested positive for cortisone at the Boston Marathon but was absolved from doping when it was proven she was injected with the drug to treat a hip injury.
Earlier this year, AK set a sequence of events in motion to expel Berardelli from the country but the Italian coach returned to resume his work.