NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Rosa Associati Director Federico Rosa has been formally charged with six counts in two cases relating to doping allegations.
Federico, who appeared before Nairobi’s Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Thursday, pleaded not guilty in both cases filed by retired athlete Elijah Kiprono Boit and convicted drugs cheat marathoner Rita Jeptoo Busoni.
Ochoi ordered Federico be remanded at Gigiri Police Station until Monday, July 18 when he will give a verdict after his defence counsel on Wednesday filed an application requesting the release of his passport between July 15 to August 22.
Federico’s lawyers led by Katwa Kigen wanted their client freed on the initial Sh300,000 cash bail he was served on Wednesday last week, and the release of his passport to attend Friday’s Monaco IAAF Diamond League, London leg (July 22-23) and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21.
However, the prosecution opposed both applications, demanding the accused be released on bond and two Kenyan sureties and the court continue holding his passport to avoid him absconding court proceedings.
“I will rule on this case on Monday because I have to go through all the applications before making judgment. I cannot decide now whether to release him on cash bail or bond because when I ruled on Wednesday last week he was a suspect but he is now an accused person. He (Federico) will be remanded at Gigiri Police Station until Monday,” Ochoi directed.
The prosecutor and defence counsel agreed to consolidate the two cases that has three counts each since they are related to the same offence.
In the first case filed by Boit, a fourth finisher at the 2011 World Youth Championships, the accused was charged with an offence of conspiracy to injure a person in his profession, conspiracy to prevent a person from lawful exercise of his profession and conspiracy to effect unlawful purpose.
“On the diverse dates between the years 2004 and 2009 at Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County, jointly with others not before court ,conspired to prevent by unlawful means the free and lawful exercise of Elijah Kiprono Boit by administering a prohibited substance through a prohibited method of his athletic profession,” count 2 of the charge sheet read.
The second case involves Busoni, who is serving a two-year ban after testing positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO with the accused charged with similar offences just like Kiprono’s.
Federico is accused of three counts in an offence committed in August and September 2014, two months after the two-time Boston and Chicago Marathon champion failed drugs tests.
“On diverse dates in August and September in 2014 at Eldoret within Uasin Gishu County, jointly with others not before court conspired to administer a prohibited substance through a prohibited method in order to injure the profession of an athlete namely Rita Jeptoo Busoni, a professional athlete,” count 1 of the charge sheet read.
Jeptoo worked with the Rosa Associati management under her former coach Claudio Berardelli also set to appear before Nairobi’s Milimani Law Court to face similar charges after being released on a cash bail of Sh200,000 on Tuesday.
The newly enacted 2016 Anti-Doping Law recommends a Sh3 million fine or/and three year jail term for persons involved in administering banned substances to athletes.