NAIROBI, December 17- Former world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang has claimed a witch-hunt by Athletics Kenya (AK) after the federation released details he has been notified by world body IAAF for missing an out of competition drug test last month.
In a statement, the reigning London and New York Marathon champion cried foul and is considering legal action against the federation alleging AK were targeting him as the chairman of the Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK) that has been at the forefront of agitating for runners’ rights in the country.
“In response to the Statement issued by Athletics Kenya, I wish to state it clearly that it is breach of privacy with malicious target to soil my name and efforts I have put in towards developing and streamlining the art of running in Kenya.
“I am fully aware of the communication from IAAF and I have submitted all necessary required details and the matter was settled accordance to the governing law. In the dates mentioned, I was in South Africa to attend a global Athletics conference where I was representing Africa and Kenya and Athletics Kenyan was aware and the same was updated in my whereabouts calendar,” the Volare Sports athlete whose 2:03:23 marathon standard set in Berlin last year was erased at the same course by teammate Dennis Kimetto charged.
“The dateline on 24th December is the D day where I am yet to respond according to the law. Missing unwillingly a single test, in fact for the first time cannot amount to issuing a press statement by a national federation.
“I am not the only athlete who misses a test. I am not the first one in Kenya neither in the whole world. Then, why Kipsang?” he posed.
“I urge my fellow athletes, fans and the supporters of PAAK that there is no turning back and never shall I be silent in the fight. This will not scare me from serving my country whatsoever.
“My legal team will be ready anytime from now to respond on the way forward to save this country from unprofessional misconduct by AK,” the Olympics marathon bronze medallist who earlier won the Frankfurt (2011) and London 2012 races told.
The notification followed the failure by Kipsang who clinched the men’s $500,000 World Marathon Majors jackpot with victory in New York to appear for an out-of-competition test in Kenya on November 11.
-AK Statement on Kipsang-
Earlier, AK released a statement reporting it has received communication from IAAF on the notification of a confirmed missed doping test for Kipsang.
“The notification followed an unsuccessful attempt to conduct an Out-of-Competition test on the athlete on the 11th of November, 2014. The athlete was notified of the apparent missed test on 13th November 2014. Following this the athlete was requested to give an explanation of the missed test which was filed by the athlete on 23rd November 2014.
“Having reviewed the report and details of the test attempt, as well as the athletes response, the IAAF is satisfied that all criteria under IAAF Anti-Doping Regulations (paragraph 2.28) were met, and subsequently it has been determined that a Missed Test should be recorded against Mr. Kipsang, in accordance with IAAF Rule 35.18.
“At this stage, the athlete is advised that, in accordance with the IAAF Anti-Doping regulations (paragraph 6.2(d)), he has the right to request an administrative review. A written submission for the appeal must be received not later than 24th December 2014.”
However, the federation maintained Kipsang will not face any sanctions for missing the test since it was his first whereabouts failure concerning the star distance runner.
“However, the athlete has been advised that with reference to Rule 35.18: “…an athlete shall be deemed to have committed an anti-doping rule violation under Rule 32.2(d) if he commits a total of three Whereabouts Failures (which may be any combination of Filing Failures and/or Missed Tests adding up to three in total) within any 18 (eighteen) month period.
“The IAAF may rely for the purposes of Rule 32.2(d) on Filing Failures and/or Missed Tests that have been declared by other Anti- Doping Organizations with jurisdiction over an Athlete provided that they have been declared based on rules that comply with the International Standard for Testing,” AK explained in essence exonerating the London and New York champion from culpability.
The federation called on athletes to adhere to the strict whereabouts rules but the timing of the release of information of Kipsang, an outspoken critic of AK as PAAK chairman was curious.
PAAK and the federation have clashed on a number of issues including branch leadership and athletes’ welfare with more runners joining the former in what is being viewed at AK quarters as rebellion against establishment.
Kenya is still reeling from positive A-sample for EPO of female marathon star Rita Jeptoo whose B-Sample will be tested this week with the bust coming in the week she was supposed to be confirmed as the women’s Majors jackpot winner alongside Kipsang in New York on November 2.
In 1993, IAAF banned five-time world cross country champion John Ngugi for four years for refusing to submit to an out-of-competition test.