الإثنين , يونيو 8 2020

Kenyan athlete hits out over agent

Kenyan athlete Wilson Kipsang in 2012

Wilson Kipsang is also the president of Professional Athletes Association of Kenya

Reigning London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang has hit out at the sports authorities in Kenya for suspending his foreign agent without informing him.

He told the BBC that Athletics Kenya (AK) was “fighting with fire”.

Two leading sports agencies have been suspended for six months by AK as the organisation investigates Kenya’s recent doping troubles.

AK said it would ensure that athletes do not miss international competitions.

Kenya’s ruling athletics body has not made specific accusations against the two companies: Rosa Associati, run by Gabriele and Federico Rosa, and Volare Sports, run by Dutchman Gerard van de Veen.

One of Mr Rosa’s recent clients was the Boston marathon winner Rita Jeptoo, who was banned for two years from athletics after failing a doping test.

Neither agency has commented yet as they say they have not received official notification of the suspensions.

‘Confidential matters’

Mr Kipsang, who is represented by Volare Sports, is also the president of Professional Athletes Association of Kenya.

He told the BBC that AK did not have the knowledge and experience to represent athletes.

“We have confidential matters between an athlete and a manager which we can’t discuss with Athletics Kenya,” the former world record marathon runner said.

AK President Isaiah Kiplagat said it would liaise with the international athletics body, the IAAF, and would meet promoters of the Diamond League to ensure that athletes do not miss competitions.

But the BBC’s John Nene in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, says many athletes are very bitter about the decision.

They do not trust Kenya’s athletics body with financial matters, he says.

The suspensions are also a blow for the agents, who represent some of the best athletes on the circuit.

Rosa Associati handle 1,500m world champion Asbel Kiprop and Volare Sports count Dennis Kimetto, the world record marathon holder, among its clients.

There is no suggestion that either of these athletes are involved in any wrongdoing and both are completely untainted by the ongoing investigation.

Last year, Mr Kipsang was furious after AK revealed that he had missed a doping test.

He said that he was representing Kenyan athletics at a conference in South Africa at the time.

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