Recently banned, Kenyan long distance runner Wilson Kipsang has accused Nairobi region Athletics Kenya chairman as the person behind his woes.
Speaking from his base in Iten, Kipsang sounded bitter.
“I have always had a problem with AK and the officers there don’t like me. The person in charge at Athletics Integrity Unit is a close friend to Barnaba Korir, they went to school together abroad. The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya has not been supportive in my case, instead they have teamed up with AK to tarnish my name,” an unstable Kipsang stammered adding that the fight is not over and he is determined to win and continue racing.
He also reminded Barnaba Korir, the Athletics Kenya Nairobi region chairperson that he has been actively running for 17 years and has been tested more than a thousand times, and no single day has he ever tested positive.
On third of July 2020, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced on their social media account that ‘the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal has banned long-distance runner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya for 4-years with effect from 10 January 2020 for Whereabouts Failures and Tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony.’
In response, Volare Sports the company that manages the also Kenyan police man was quick to issue a press release.
‘Volare Sports and Wilson strongly believe in a clean sport and support anti-doping measures for a 100%. We emphasize that there is no case of use of doping. No prohibited substance was ever found. The accusation regarding alleged/attempted tampering (article 2.5) concerned an explanation that was given in the results management process regarding a possible Whereabouts Failure and did not concern tampering with a doping test itself.
The decision is not final and conclusive yet. Wilson has the opportunity to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). We will study and analyze the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal and consider the further legal steps. Pending this process we will not communicate anything more about it.’ Read part of the release in his defence.
In January 2020 World Athletics accused Wilson of alleged Whereabouts Failures (article 2.4) and alleged (attempted) tampering (article 2.5). The Disciplinary Tribunal found Wilson guilty of violation of both.
Kipsang however, thinks that the Kenyan officials at Athletics Kenya in collaboration with ADAK, have a hidden agenda in his woes.
He is not the only runner who has cried foul over doping issues in relation to AK officials. Recently, when Asbel Kiprop was also banned, he had almost the same issues and saw it as a setup.
Kipsang and his management team at Volare sports have vowed to fight to the bitter end. Athletics Kenya is yet to respond.
By Shadrack Andenga Odinga