NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – A Nairobi court has rejected an application filed by top Italian athletics manager Federico Rosa to have his passport released on grounds that he did not produce certified documents to support his affidavit.
Federico, who appeared before Nairobi’s Kibera Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Monday, was released on a Sh500,000 bond and two Kenyan sureties each of the same amount after being detained for four days in doping related charges.
The court however ordered Federico be refunded Sh300,000 he deposited when he was released on cash bail two weeks ago.
Ochoi said the court will reconsider the decision of holding his passport if sufficient evidence showing that he manages 10 of the 50 athletes set to represent Kenya at the Rio Olympics that kicks off in August.
“The court takes judicial notice of the fact that the Kenyan athletes are currently preparing for Rio Olympics and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya in conjunction with Athletics Kenya are the local bodies responsible to the Kenyan team to the Olympics. The accused would have at least obtained a note for these bodies to confirm that he manages some of the athletes preparing for Olympics,” Ochoi read in his ruling.
“The reasons that have been given by the accused person are good and warrant a positive consideration but they lack a backing of documentary evidence. This court is a court of records and in the absence of the crucial documents I will not grant the application for the release of the accused’s passport.”
“But I must mention that, however if indeed the accused is managing Kenyan athletes who are preparing to take part in Olympics, it will only be fair to him and the said athletes that he be allowed to be involved in the preparations and participation so that the athletes may attain the best results, this being the ultimate sporting event in the world,” the magistrate added.
“This court is alive to the fact that doping is a menace that is now threatening the heritage of this nation in athletics but at the moment the law presupposes the accused to be innocent until proven guilty and the court will therefore not hesitate to reconsider the above orders if sufficient evidence is stabled in court showing indeed that the accused is involved in managing Kenyan athletes preparing for the Olympics.”
The pre-trial mention will be heard August 8 after the Rosa Associati Director was charged with six counts of doping related charges in cases involving two athletes who filed the application against him.
In both cases, 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.
Retired athlete Elijah Kiprono Boit claimed the accused administered him banned substance between 2004 and 2008 in Italy while disgraced top marathoner Rita Jeptoo, who is serving a two year ban for failing drugs test, alleges she was administered with the drug in 2004.