Agents Representing Marathon World Record-Holder Suspended

The Athletics Federation of Kenya has suspended the agents Dennis Kimetto, the marathon world record holder, and other top stars as it investigates an increase in doping among Kenyan athletes.

On Monday, Athletics Kenya announced that it has suspended two foreign agencies for a period of six months from managing its athletes pending investigations into allegations of doping that have brought bad name to a country famed for its distance runners. Athletics Kenya President, Isaiah Kiplagat, said the athletic federation of the country has decided to suspend two agents for the time being so that investigations can be carried out and, when the results are out, we will decide whether they come back or not. Kiplagat added this suspension will be for a period of six months.

The Athletics Kenya President also remarked there have been a lot of reports relating to doping in Kenya and a lot of fingers pointed at people, agents, doctors and pharmacists. Kiplagat added we know it is an intricate issue and critical matter and we want to deal with it. Kiplagat told a news conference that everyone must be aware that we announced at the beginning of the year that any manager who has more than three athletes testing positive for drugs will have their licenses revoked.

Kiplagat said we have decided to ask Dr Rosa and Gerard Van De Veen to step aside for six months for the purposes of us to investigate their roles in this doping scandal and added these two men manage the elite athletes in the contracts, and some of them have recently been suspended for failing dope tests. It was further commented by Athletics Kenya President that the Athletics Federation of Kenya has appointed a probe team composed of AK officials, Anti-Doping Association of Kenya (ADAK) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to investigate their roles and added if they are found guilty they will be removed.

The suspension of Rosa & Associati, run by an Italian, Gabriele Rosa, and Volare Sports, run by the Dutchman Gerard van de Veen, is a huge blow to many well-known athletes who are managed by the agencies.

In the recent past, Kenyan officials have blamed foreign agents for encouraging athletes into using performance-enhancing drugs but Kenyan authorities have been accused of not taking enough actions to deal with doping cases.

Rosa and Van De Veen manage top Kenyan elite athletes including Priscah Jeptoo, the 2013 London marathon women’s winner, and current and former men’s world marathon record holders Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang. Rosa & Associati represent runners including current 1,500-meter world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner Asbel Kiprop, women’s 800 world champion Eunice Sum, and former world champion Janet Jepkosgei. Rosa managed Rita Jeptoo, who is currently serving a two-year ban for testing positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO. Volare Sports, which is headed by Dutch agent Gerard van der Veen, represents Dennis Kimetto, two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai, and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang, among others.

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