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Kenyan athletics officials suspended by IAAF

There is growing unrest in the African country after a failed drugs test by a world champion and allegations of corruption by the sport’s governing body.

Suspended Athletics Kenya president, Isaiah Kiplagat.
Suspended Athletics Kenya president, Isaiah Kiplagat.

THE IAAF HAS provisionally suspended three members of Kenya’s athletics governing body, including president Isaiah Kiplagat.

The bans have been made “in the interests of the integrity of the sport”, according to the IAAF, and are due to last for a period of 180 days.

Athletics Kenya vice-president David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua, the team leader for the 2015 world championships, have also been provisionally banned.

The IAAF Ethics Committee revealed the sanctions came after they determined that all three men had cases to answer concerning “potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya and potential improper diversion from Athletics Kenya of funds received from Nike”.

The statement also confirmed “a prima facie case … of an apparent gift of two motor vehicles from the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation in the period 2014-2015″ against Kiplagat.

After accusations against the trio had originally surfaced, there was huge anger in the Kenyan athletics community despite the officials denying any wrongdoing.

Dozens of Kenyan athletes stormed the AK headquarters in Nairobi last week, locking out officials and demanding that senior officials step down.

All three men are yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing and can appeal against the provisional sanctions.

Last week, Kenya’s two-time world cross country champion Emily Chebet was among seven athletes suspended for failing drugs tests, while the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called for the country to offer an explanation concerning its doping controls.

Doping Kenya Kenya's Emily Chebet was suspended for failing a drugs test. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The pressure on Athletics Kenya increased last month as the IAAF revealed it had been investigating alleged doping cover-ups in the country since March.

The IAAF’s admission came after Dick Pound, who led the damning report into Russian athletics, warned “a lot of performance-enhancing drugs” were being used in Kenya.

Russia has already been banned from all athletics competitions as a result of doping violations.

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