NAIROBI, April 13 – Reputed Kenyan coach, Charles Ng’eno who unearthed among others two-time World Cross and World Junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich has been banned for life by Athletics Kenya (AK) on suspicion of amorous behaviour with his charges.
Announcing the development on Monday, AK President Isaiah Kiplagat also ordered the closure of his Nakuru based Keringet Camp for what he termed ‘manipulating of athletes’ although reports close to investigations cited him on claims of forcing mostly female junior athletes into improper sexual relations.
“It has become very clear that the manager (Ng’eno) has been manipulating the athletes particularly girls, we sent a team there and they came with the report which we are going to table very soon.
“As you know (Mercy) Chebwogen is no longer running we are yet to know what happened. Chepng’etich (Faith) was only discovered she was injured when she reported camp in Embu which we had not been told by the manager,” Kiplagat announced.
However, speaking to Capital Sport, an agitated coach Ng’eno whose latest find is World Youth champion Rosefeline Chepng’etich, blamed his woes on a rival who had fabricated the startling claims including the serious charge of impregnated one of his junior female athletes that is punishable under law to bring him down saying he would come to AK headquarters on Wednesday for clarification.
“This matter is political. The allegations on the specified athlete are not true. I closed the camp in December because the athletes were over 18 and I released them. I’m now managing them from the outside.
“There is someone in the federation who is fighting me. He told the federation about the claims and they visited the camp and found the father (of the said athlete) who told AK he would investigate the matter and give a report later on.
“I’m coming to the federation on Wednesday with the father and the athlete to find out from AK on the said allegations. I need evidence and so far, I have ignored the matter since it has no value. If it goes on, I will go to court,” Nge’no said.
The AK boss further stated the federation was working with Ministry of Education to relocate affected athletes to school as they seek a suitable coach to manage them with immediate effect.
“They live in very pathetic conditions so we have ordered the camp to be closed indefinitely and the coach banned immediately. We have made arrangements for the girls to be moved back to school and appoint another coach for the time being.
“We will appoint an individual who will handle athletes ensuring they don’t miss any competition including the Diamond League and other IAAF competitions,” the AK chief added.
– Changed citizenship-
AK will also form a committee to investigate Nairobi’s Riruta Secondary School coach, Gregory Kilonzo who is accused of aiding the flight of young students to Gulf nations of Bahrain and Qatar.
“It is true one of my athletes changed citizenship to Qatar but I had nothing to do with it. He and his friend met the Qataris and he moved there on his own. He even got one of his friends and AK have been to the school to investigate and we gave them all the information they needed,” Kilonzo who was the national team head coach for the Africa Youth Championships in Mauritius this January told Capital Sport from Nakuru.
With the number of young Kenyan athletes changing their nationality including reigning 3000m steeplechase world junior champion Ruth Jebet who now runs for Bahrain, Kiplagat send a tough warning to managers who practice the change of citizenship illegally.
“There has been a lot of human trafficking with our young athletes moving to countries like Bahrain, Turkey and now Russia. A committee is going to be unveiled to look into the issue because IAAF has instructed us (AK) to profile athletes who purport to be citizens of those countries but still live in Kenya.
“Changing nationality is not an issue our worry is manipulation of young athletes aged below 17, IAAF has taken note and they are very serious on this issue,” Kiplagat underscored.