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Kenya’s Olympics Manager Asked For Sh.1.3M To Protect Doping Athletes, Here’s The Other Side Of The Story

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President Uhuru Kenyatta, in yellow jacket, with the Kenyan athletics team, including Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha, circled left, and manager Michael Rotich, circled right

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in yellow jacket, with the Kenyan athletics team, including Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha, circled left, and manager Michael Rotich, circled right

The fate of Kenyan athletes representing the country in the Rio Olympics is once again hanging on the strings following fresh developments by an international publication claiming their independent and undercover investigations found officials of Kenyan athletes as being part of the doping cartel.

Since 2012, Kenya has become under close scrutiny on doping suspicions, with about 40 athletes having failed doping tests. Including Former Chicago and Boston winner and celebrated athlete Rita Jeptoo and Emily Chebet, a WorldCross Country Champion being amongst them.

The UK’s Sunday Times, claim in an undercover investigation held back in January caught Kenya’s athletics team manager, Major Rt. Michael Rotich on camera asking for up to Sh.1.3M bribe from the doping cartel as a token to give tips to the athletes to clean their system on a scheduled drug test.

Sunday Times say they planted decoys who acted as coaches of British athletes and a one Doctor Joseph Mwangi who introduced him to the Britons. Mwangi has since been arrested, charged and free on bond following footage aired on a German Television that asserted Kenyan and British athletes were using banned energy boosters, EPO. Mwangi is a suspected doping agent and part of the cartel.

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According to the report, Rotich agreed to a deal of Sh.1.3M in return he would be alerting the British Coaches on pending drug tests on their athletes. He alluded he had inside info and in connections with the testing body so in that case, he would be giving them the intel prior for the athletes to clean their blood and manage the tests without drugs detection.

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The timing of this new revelation is rather suspect, one wonders why the Sunday Times had to wait all this time to release the report when the games have already kicked off. It also comes only hours after the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, gave Kenya a clean bill of health having complied with their standards on enacting the Anti-Doping Bill in parliament.

In a sharp turn, Rotich has come out to refute the claims saying he was playing along with the investigators and was si mply employing his military intelligence collection skills to trap into the doping cartel. He agrees having met the Brits and agreeing on the said bribe but only because he was playing into their hands to unearth the cartel that is destroying the reputation of the country and careers of the athletes.

The timing of this release is suspicious given Kenya’s known track record of winning, the scanty information would be used to descredit the perfomances and put into jeopardy the medals won. If there were any of the Kenyan athletes on doping, WADA wouldn’t have cleared the 40 representing Kenya. Athletics is a core economic element to Kenya that we shouldn’t allow dubious and gutted journalism to imperil and dent it.

George Arbuthnott, the journalist behind this latest report Kenya Insights learn  is also said to have employed same tactic of acting as a doping agent on Mustafa Mohamed another Swedish athlete where he was staying in Portugal. He wanted Mustafa to to recruit atheletes for a running camp in Kenya. Sensing the dishonesty, the athelte called off the meeting alerting the security who later revealed his true identity, having used a pseudonym on introducing himself to Mustafa. Comments around accuse George of being a Kenyan hater and a racist claims which cant be ascertained.

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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