All posts by Oliver Ochanda

Viola Jepchumba banned for four years for testing positive

Viola Jepchumba the Kenyan born, Bahrain runner has been banned for four years after the presence of EPO was found in her test samples.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) today issued the final verdict on its website stating the ban. Tests carried out on the athlete between 28th August 2017 and 30th September 2017 revealed that the athlete has been using the banned enhancing drug.

Viola Jepuchumba who specializes in long distance races up to the half marathon holds her personal best of 65:51 is ranked as the third fastest woman ever in this race.

Kenyans are waiting in bated breath for the Disciplinary Tribunal hearing for Beijing 2008 Olympics and three-time men 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop.

AIU confirmed in May that the three-time World champion had tested positive for banned blood booster, EPO and earlier this week, he posted a sordid video on social media featuring him in a compromising position with the wife of his friend and pacemaker, Andrew Rotich.

According to a flurry of social media posts between the erstwhile friends turned bitter love rivals traded accusations with Kiprop alleging Rotich set him up with the AIU, taking his revenge by exposing the affair with his wife.

Before that, Kiprop has strenuously protested his innocence and his hearing is set for London on September 25 having been provisionally suspended pertain to an out of competition test at his home in November last year.

World Championships men 800m bronze winner, Kipyegon Bett, 2006 Commonwealth women 10,000m champion, Lucy Wangui Kabuu and Samuel Kalalei are other Kenyan athletes charged alongside Kiprop in the last two months for dope-related offenses.

Bett faces two charges, finding of EPO in his system from a test conducted in June and evading Doping Control Officers twice.

AIU is also seeking to extend the four year ban meted on women’s Olympics marathon champion, Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong after accusing her of lying over the source of the EPO that saw her handed a four-year ban last year.

Kipyegon Bett suspended for doping violation

The Athletics Integrity Unit has to day provisionally suspended Kipyegon Bett from all competitions. The suspension has come about after the athlete failed to submit sample collection as stated in Article 2.3 in the anti-doping rules.

The provisional suspension means that the 800m athlete will not participate in any upcoming race until it has been lifted. This comes in the wake of doping cases that have dogged Kenyan athletes over the last one month.

Bett won the 800 metres at the 2016 World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland; He also came second in the 800 metres at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.

Last year the 20 year-old won bronze medal at the World championships that were held in London.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga Mourn Nicholas Bett

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister joined Kenyans and sending the condolence messages to fallen former 400m hurdles champion Bett.

President Uhuru’s tweet had this to say, “Deeply saddened by the death of former 400m hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett who died today in a tragic road accident.

Bett earned the country great honors in his outstanding victories. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives and friends”.

Former Prime Minister was more poignant marking the shock loss with deep, poetical words that both portrayed the impact Bett had on the athletics stage and the huge gap his passing has caused. Raila said, “Go well Bett. You went too fast too early and left our field poorer and weaker. May your spirit fire our athletes to greater exploits.

Other Kenyans continued their outpouring of grief on social media with the loss of Nicholas Bett leaving a huge dent. It is indeed a big loss to the Kenya and world at large.

Lornah Kiplagat the 2007 World Cross Country Championships also through her facebook account mourned the fallen hero, “First I was upset with people for rushing with news which might not be true and I was really hoping to hear from someone that it’s not true.

I’m saddened and shocked to hear that Kenya’s 2015 world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett , 28, died in a car accident.

May His soul rest in peace. Condolences to his family,friends and to all in Kenya athletics.”

Bett died after the car he was driving hit a bump on the road leading to the car losing control and rolling several times. He was the only occupant in the car.

WHO IS PROTECTING DR. GABRIELE ROSA?

Another soldier down is a common phrase among soldiers in combat use when one of them falls in battle.

This phrase aptly captures the recent doping cases involving Lucy Kabuu. Their case have one common denominator, they both hail from the Rosa and Associati camp.

One year ago we covered Dr. Gabriele Rosa in an expose detailing how his camp had over the years produced champions as well as the highest number of athletes found to have used enhancing drugs. The recent cases of Kabuu who joined Rosa’s camp in January tested positive for narcotic morphine in April. Until then, Kabuu had been an athlete competing honestly for over 15 years without any involvement with banned substances. It is not wrong to assume that her positive test can be linked to her joining the camp.

Hon. Wesley Korir former Boston Marathon champion had this to say about the latest doping scandal involving Lucy Kabuu from the Rosa camp, “I will be vindicated one day when I say that the biggest problem in Kenya doping menace is Rosa and associates and the only way to truly fight doping in Kenyans is to ban this agency from representing Kenyans. Ask when did Kabuu join this agency and immediately she is doping?

So the question to be answered is who is protecting Dr. Rosa? Why is this camp so important to Kenya despite the negative image it has painted of Kenya, a country that has been known as an athletics powerhouse but now every win is being questioned by the world?

Some of the high level names include Rita Jeptoo, Jemima Sumgong, Mathew Kisorio and Agatha Jeruto. The most recent high level athlete has been Asbel Kiprop. The coach under who these names were found to test positive for banned substances was Claudio Beraddelli.

In 2015 Athletics Kenya banned Rosa Associati and Volare Sports for six months as they investigated their roles in doping cases but were later lifted under unclear circumstances by AK.

Many questions arises about this man Dr. Rosa, how powerful is he that he manages to get his way through this doping issues? Has Athletics Kenya shielded the alleged peddlers of doping in Kenya, Rossa Associati, for a long time? Does Dr. Rosa fund Athletics Kenya? Does he have insiders at the IAAF that shield him and his athletes?

According to his website (www.rosassociati.it) the stable has 69 and 35 top notch athletes from around the world. The stable has names like Nijel Amos, Asbel Kiprop, Lonyangata Paul,Stanley Biwott,Lilesa Feyisa Gemeche,Belay Tigist Gashaw,Getent Tigest Mekonen,Yalew Genet and Jemima Sumgong just to name the few.

He has one of the biggest athletes stable in the world with the biggest names in athletics world from the likes of former world record holder and Kenya’s legend Paul Tergat to the current crop of emerging runners the likes of Tuei Sandrafelis Chebet a junior champion.

Lucy Kabuu fails doping test

The doping axe has once again fallen to 2006 Commonwealth games 10,000m gold medalist Lucy Wangui Kabuu.

Kabuu who also won bronze medal at the same games tested positive for narcotic morphine.

The 34 year-old has a personal bests of 14:33.49 minutes for the 5000 m and 30:39.96 minutes for the 10,000 m making her one of Kenya’s fastest ever runners in the events.

The Mukurweini born athlete tested positive in April this year at the EA7 Emporio Armani Milano Marathon where she came from behind to take a close win in the women’s race in 2:27:02 holding off her compatriot Vivian Jerono Kiplagat by six seconds in the final two kilometres.

Her case is coming hot on the heels of 400m champion Boniface Mweresa who tested positive a fortnight ago.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Kabuu’s suspension was effected on August 1 after her blood samples showed presence of Morphine which is a prohibited substance under Article 2.1 of the Anti Doping rules.
“@AIU_Athletics has issued a Notice of Charge against Lucy Wangui for a violation of Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules.
The Kenyan marathon runner is has been Provisionally Suspended from all competition,” a statement on the AIU official twitter feed said on Friday afternoon.

ASABA FIASCO CONTINUES

Africans on twitter have resorted to social site twitter to voice their frustrations and disappointment at the level of incompetence and disorganization that the African Athletics championships have seen.

The hashtag has seen Africans from different countries resort to their twitter handles to deride the Nigerian Athletics Federation.

Led by Olympic 800m silver medalist, Francine Niyonsaba from Burudi they poured their frustration on twitter.

Below are some of the tweets;

Francine Niyonsaba‏ @FrancineNiyons4 Aug 1-From Burundi

without uniform of Burundi and Allowance ,we are ready to represent our country #burundi team #Asaba2018 #FIRECINE thanks for support

Carol Radull from Kenya had this to say @carolradull -How exactly did Nigeria win the right to host the Africa Athletics Championship? From the transport and accommodation fiasco and now the summary results of the “MEN’S” 10,000m final has some women’s names #SomeoneTellNigeria

There was no media Centre to host the Media houses who opted to use the floors to write their articles. Photo: Courtesy

 

Wesley Botton‏ @wesbotton Aug 1 from South Africa

No hotel rooms available and no accreditation for us to get into the stadium, less than an hour before the start of the African Athletics Champs. This mess keeps getting messier. That’s my grumpy face #Asaba2018

EiE Nigeria‏Verified account @EiENigeria Aug 1

Athletes and Media waiting to be accredited. Photo: Courtesy

Athletes from various African countries who are billed to compete today at the Africa Senior Athletics Championship #Asaba2018 are still stranded in Lagos. This is a national disgrace. When will our administrators learn to plan properly?

james oluwatosin‏ @iam4james 10m10 minutes ago

This #Asaba2018 Athletics competition shows everything that is wrong with our country and it so sad because we are confidently washing our dirty lining outside. From preparation to organization is shambolic and… https://www.facebook.com/olwatosin.james/posts/1915848425145175 …

Asaba Metro‏ @AsabaMetro 10m10 minutes ago

The summary results of the “MEN’S” 10,000m final has some women’s names. Photo: Courtesy

Delta Stadium Water Tank Disaster: #Okowa Orders Immediate Investigation – #AfricanSeniorAthleticsChampionship #Asaba2018 #StephenKeshiStadium #SubstandardProject #WaterTankhttp://www.asabametro.com/2018/08/delta-stadium-water-tank-disaster-okowa-orders-immediate-investigation/ …

KENYAN GOVERNMENT – CONCENTRATE AND WIN DESPITE CHAOS

The Kenyan government has issued a statement concerning the fiasco that has become the 21st African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

In a letter issued to the press, through the Chief Administrative Officer, Ministry of Sports, the government said that athletes should concentrate on posting a good result in spite of the logistical challenges they have experienced.

Hassan Noor, the Chief Administrative Secretary said that Nigerian Athletics Federation (AFN) and the Nigerian Local Organizing Committee had failed in organizing a successful event and that not only Kenyan athletes who had suffered but also athletes from other African countries.

“Team Kenya was last night put in golden Tulip hotel in Lagos awaiting special chartered flights to Asaba.

 

Conseslus Kipruto: Nigeria didn’t deserve to host the African championships

The ignominy that has been the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships in terms of organization is stuff of legend.

The poor organization has seen athletes from various countries being stranded for more than 48 hours at the airport. This has put on the spot the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), over its poor management of this continental event.

The location of this tournament seems to be the main problem. Moreover the management of athletics in Nigeria did not consider the logistical requirements to conduct a successful event. Because of this, we have almost no chartered flights from Lagos where most athletes alighted from to Asaba, the location of the tournament which sits 500km away from Lagos.

World and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, Conseslus Kipruto went on to add that they were tired and were unsure about their ability to perform at optimum level given the stress level and fatigue the athletes have undergone. He said, “Chasing my dreams to have all medals in my career and loving representing my country isn’t what were going through here in Nigeria for Africa Championships.

It wasn’t a good show to host the championship here, teams are stranded at the airport for two days, it’s the most boring host I have ever seen in my athletics career.

Juliius Yego the African javelin champion added his voice to this matter saying. “Stranded for the 2nd at the airport now back to hotel yet we have competition starting tomorrow morning !! We not sure if we will go to Asaba the place of competition tomorrow (today)!!Nigeria has fail Africa CAA has fail African lovers of athletics

 

KENYA ON MOST AT RISK OF DOPING – IAAF

Kenya has been ranked the top most country likely to dope according to the IAAF. This negative ranking has come in the wake of high ranking athletes testing positive for various banned substances.

The top-tier athletes have included Asbel Kiprop who is the most recent high ranking athlete to test positive.

The 1500m Olympic champion and world champion, Rita Jeptoo the 3 time Boston marathon and course record holder, Jemimah Sumgong, Shieys Jepkosgei, Ken Kirui, and Sharon Ndinda Muli. Florence Chepsoi and Joseph Kariuki Gitau

Kenya is also ranked besides Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine. IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that the governing council has approved new regulations which spell out regulations for member states on how they can fight against doping.

Under existing regulations the burden was previously under the Anti-doping code and was focused on individuals as opposed to member states. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) recommended a raft of new regulations that will shift the burden to member federations and help clean up and shore up integrity in the sport.

The IAAF will divide member federations into three categories “which will have different obligations based on their level of success in athletics and the risk of doping”.

The current watch list of four member federations – Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus and  Ukraine – will be folded into Category A, which will include those member federations considered “most at risk of doping”. The national team athletes from these federations will have to undergo at least three out-of-competition doping tests in the 10 months before a world championships or Olympic Games.

The second Category B will include the other Federations who are competitive at international level, while Category C will include Federations with very few international-level athletes.

Category A and B Federations will be required to ensure athlete drug-testing plans are submitted to the IAAF before each world championships or Olympic Games.

This new measures will either make Kenya get rid of dishonest athletes who are bringing the country much disrepute while ensuring athletes compete honestly.