NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – As the athletics world reels from the gruesome murder of 2015 World Champion Agnes Tirop, Athletics Kenya has announced that it has suspended all athletics events in the country for the next two weeks.
Tirop’s lifeless body was found with deep cuts and stabs at her house in Iten with police saying they are pursuing the athlete’s estranged husband Emmanuel Rotich who has been named as the prime suspect in the alleged murder case.
And now, AK have said the next two weeks will see all events cancelled, including the National Cross Country meets that were scheduled for Machakos and Iten over the next two Saturdays.
“We cannot hide our heads in the sand anymore. These unfortunate incidents are products of mental anguish affecting various sports persons. A number of athletes are suffering immensely in their personal spaces but have chosen not to seek help for fear of stigma. They are considered as role models who cannot and should not do any wrong, as other human beings are prone to,” AK president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said in a press briefing on Thursday afternoon.
According to several reports from neighbors and fellow athletes, Tirop had been in an on and off relationship with the estranged husband, punctuated with several disagreements.
The disagreements escalated to her death on Wednesday morning when her lifeless body was discovered in her house.
The 2015 World Cross Country Champion as well as double bronze medalist in 2017 and 2019 at the World Championships had started off her season on a high, setting a new women-only world record for 10km at the adizero Road To Records event in Germany last month.
She had just started off her post-season rest before starting preparations for the new season before she met her untimely death, in gruesome circumstances.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya say they are well aware of the mental struggles that athletes go through, with Tuwei says it is about time the issue is addressed.
“We cannot hide our heads in the sand anymore. These unfortunate events are products of mental anguish afflicting various sportspersons. A number of athletes are suffering immensely in their personal space but have chosen not to seek help for fear of stigma from the public,” Tuwei said.
He added; “The pressure to measure up to these societal expectations has compelled such athletes to a sworn code of secrecy in dealing with their tribulations.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked for speedy investigations and instructed police to ensure the perpetrators of the heinous act are apprehended and face the full wrath of the law.