NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Detectives have arrested a suspect, Elias Kiptum, believed to be part of an international conspiracy ring, out to tarnish Kenya’s athletics image by developing false doping allegations.
Kiptum was charged at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Court on Monday morning and charged with 12 different counts. He denied all of them and will remain in custody until Tuesday when his bail ruling will be made.
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have been pursuing the suspect since September last year with information that they might be collaborating with individuals to develop fake doping stories.
According to detectives, the syndicate has been allegedly working with foreign journalists in fabricating information on doping in Athletics Kenya.
According to the DCI, the perpetrators had prepared documents purporting that doping was being promoted and encouraged by several state agencies in the country, with the aim of having Kenya suspended from participating at the Tokyo Olympics.
Forged documents purportedly signed by officials from the Anti-Dopping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) and Athletics Kenya (AK) were shared with the Europe-based journalists, who have been part of the ring.
Detectives raided Kiptum’s residence in Iten last week and confiscated several documents bearing ADAK and AK letter heads, alongside suspicious bank slips.
Contract agreement documents between local suspects and the foreign journalists, three laptops, mobile phones among other electronic gadgets were also confiscated from the suspect’s house and are undergoing forensic analysis at DCI Headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Sports has warned individuals out to tarnish Kenya’s name with fake doping allegations that they will be severely dealt with and the rule of law will take its course.
Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed says Sports is a core part of Kenya’s national identity and any threat to this can only be termed and treated as a threat to national security.
“The Ministry has noted with great concern that whenever Kenya is about to participate in a major International Sporting event, unscrupulous characters embark on a mission to disparage Kenya’s decades of well-deserved sporting repertoire and our leadership in the global anti-doping efforts,” a statement from the Ministry, signed by Amina stated.
CS Amina has further warned the foreign journalists exploiting Kenya’s warm and welcoming nature for their own good, they will receive the full wrath of the law if found to be engaging in activities that are out to tarnish Kenya’s name.
“Certain international journalists have made this ‘doping’ crusade a personal mission and progressed journalistic material in the form of documentaries, digital and print press based on false information aimed at destabilizing the fabric of our national sporting heritage,” the CS stated.
She added; “Thankfully, this crusade is limited to a small number of journalists from Germany and more recently Denmark and Norway.”
Kenya has continually remained on the worldwide doping watchlist due to increased cases within the country.
AK had previously insinuated that foreign journalists were cooperating with scrupulous individuals from international media to tarnish Kenya’s name.