NAIROBI, October 15 – The suspension of athlete’s management firms; Rosa & Associati and Volare Sports are still in force despite the lapse of the initial six months ban period.
Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president, Lieutenant General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, made this announcement on Thursday at a news conference in Nairobi .
Rosa and Volare were suspended in late April to facilitate a probe into suspected cases of doping in their camps and Tuwei said the federation will only make a final decision when investigations are complete.
Four former Rosa clients, Matthew Kisorio, women marathon star, Rita Jeptoo, Agatha Jeruto and Jepkoech Jepkorir have either served or are serving international bans for doping violations from 2012 to this year.
Thus far, no one from the Volare camp that boasts of the world’s top circuit marathoners such as record holder, Dennis Kimetto, predecessor, Wilson Kipsang and New York and Boston course record holder, Geoffrey Mutai has been sanctioned for proscribed substances.
“We will review their suspension according to information we receive from the investigations report. We are not the only ones doing the investigations, we have asked for support from other Government agencies and therefore, before we make a decision we must look at where we are.
“It looks like the investigations will go beyond six months so we will only take further action after it’s done because as AK, we have not finished interviewing one of them,” Tuwei underscored.
It is understood a director of Rosa, Federeico Rosa, was in the country last week and it is not clear whether he was interviewed by AK after the company announced last week it had parted ways with Italian coach, Claudio Berardelli, who later denied he’d been fired to state he had opted not to renew his contract.
Berardelli was the coach of the four Rosa runners who have fallen foul of anti-doping rules.
Doping cases have spiked in Kenya in recent years sparking international concern and calls to take drastic action.
A fortnight ago, AK announced African women 800m bronze winner, Jeruto, who was a hopeful for Beijing and road racer, Josephine Jepkoech Jepkorir had been banned for two and four years from the sport.
Both tested positive for Norandrosterone and came hot on the tail of two Kenyan sprinters, Joy Zakari and Francesca Koki being provisionally suspended after their A-Samples returned adverse results at the August IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Tuwei, said they are working closely with the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya to criminalise doping that tainted Kenya’s sterling performance in Beijing after sprinters Zakari and Koki failed tests conducted at the team hotel in China.
“The biggest challenge last season was the doping issue. We are hoping to end it in the new season. We have written to some of the counties mentioned by the athletes who have tested positive informing them that we need to work with them closely and medical institutions mentioned so that we can deal with it through the legislation and law.
“If IAAF and World Anti Doping Agency have accepted it is an offence to deal with illegal substances, then it should be made an offence in the country just like other nations so if somebody is found guilty then as soon as AK finish with the individual then the Government should take over. We would like to see the punishment go beyond what AK and IAAF do.
“We are reviewing all the foreign coaches in the country to see whether they have the necessary requirements,” the vice president asserted.