Kenya detains official expelled from Rio Games

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Michael Rotich
Kenya detains Michael Rotich Photo credit: The Star

A Nairobi court will listen to Kenya police argument today why it should order a seven-day  detention of athletics team manager sent home from Rio de Janeiro.

Michael Rotich was taken to court on Tuesday and spent the night in Gigiri police custody over claims of bribery and doping.

Rotich allegedly demanded £10,000 (Sh1.3 million) after warning a British coach about imminent doping tests. It is said he had been offered three monthly payments of £3,000 (Sh397,000).

The DPP applied for Rotich to remain in custody for seven days pending investigations. The Nairobi court remanded him at Gigiri police station to await a ruling on the application today.

Rotich denies the accusation published in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, which said he had been filmed by undercover journalists, posing as athlete representatives, some months ago.

The Kenyan team sent him home, and he was arrested on Tuesday at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as he arrived  from Brazil and was taken to court.

He is yet to be formally  charged.

“The respondent is suspected to have committed the several offences contrary to the Anti-Doping Act,” Kirimi Muguna, a police officer attached to Anti-Narcotics Unit, said in an affidavit presented to the court.

Kenya, a country with a history of middle and long-distance running excellence, has been tainted by up to 40 Kenyan runners failing dope tests in the past four years. Its struggle to convince authorities it is taking the issue seriously threatened its participation at the Rio Games.

Kenya’s president in April signed into law the bill criminalising doping that was demanded by the World Anti-Doping Agency to avoid the Rio ban.

It was only last week that Kenya was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of nations deemed “non-compliant” in their efforts to tackle doping after the introduction of the new legislation.

Source: Reuters and Star newspaper


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