Zimbabwean sprinter Marvin Bheka, has been sentenced for 30 months in jail for drug dealing.
The 31-year-old, who ran on the European circuit and reached the 100 metres final at last year’s Welsh Athletics Championships, admitted at Cardiff Crown Court in July of being in possession of cocaine with intent to supply
Bheka a resident in Cardiff, who runs a children’s charity in Zimbabwe had claimed he wanted to give youngsters in his native Zimbabwe chances he was given in sport.
Bheka’s jailing, leaves the children’s charity he was setting up in limbo.The charity’s development officer said it is now “on hold” until late 2019.
Last year, Bheka shifted his attention to establishing a charity named Mavhiri Cares – based on his sprinting nickname of Mavhiri, meaning “wheels” – with the aim to “change lives, change communities and change the world”.
A website was set up where the public could sponsor children while officers were appointed to promote it around the world.
Bheka had a “tough upbringing” in Harare, according to a former coach, but excelled at sports formed the organization aimed to “break down barriers” and help children reach their potential.
Its motto stated that: “It is our vision to get every kid and young adult hooked on sport in one form or another, be it participation, volunteering and careers in the sport industry.”
After representing Zimbabwe and competing at international level, Bheka was involved in a car accident in 2010 which stopped him participating in the sport for four years.
In 2013, Bheka arrived in London and after compact pressure relief surgery, started competing on the European athletics circuit, but further injuries hampered his progress.
He competed at last year’s Welsh Athletics 100th Outdoor Senior Championships at Cardiff International Sports Campus, finishing fifth in the 100m final in 10.74sec.
British coach Ray Gibbins who was known to him said the athlete’s conviction had shocked him.
“He was a lovely outgoing guy and told me about the charity. I roomed with him during warm weather training in Portugal,” said Gibbins.