IAAF extends bans for Kiplagat, Okeyo, Kinyua
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Board has extended the suspension of three senior Athletics Kenya officials for a further six months (180 days) to complete investigations.
The suspended trio, president Isaiah Kiplagat, Vice-president David Okeyo and Eastern Chairman, Joseph Kinyua were initially banned from the sport on November 30 on allegations of corruption and subverting the anti-doping process.
Sharad Rao who was appointed by the Ethics Board to conduct the investigations against the trio told Citizen Digital why the suspensions were extended.
“The main reason why their suspension was extended is because we are not ready. This is not due to doping cover-up but it’s due to other issues that on Qatar and Nike.
“We are still waiting to hear from Qatar Athletics Federation, they have not yet responded, we are also investigating payments made by Nike to find out if the funds were diverted and we are currently analyzing the bank accounts, bank statements and doing a few interviews,” Rao who is also the chairman of the country’s Magistrates and Vetting Board said.
“There also a few key witnesses we still have to interview that were not available for one reason or another. So by the time the suspension expired that was a few days ago (March 29) we were not through,” added.
The ban was extended at his request.
“I was required to say if their suspension would be lifted or be extended. Depending on my recommendation they opted to give me more time to complete my investigations,” he affirmed.
A fourth senior federation official, CEO Isaac Mwangi is still serving his initial suspension that expires in August after his appeal to the Board on allegations of bribery to cover up positive doping tests was thrown off.
“We will decide in a few weeks whether to extend his suspension or if we are in a position to finalize his case,” Rao said of the CEO who was cleared of any wrong doing by a panel set up by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya last month.
Kiplagat, Okeyo and Kinyua are jointly accused of siphoning USD500,000 (Ksh50.4m) from AK accounts that was alleged to have been a one-off bonus from the kitting deal for Kenya’s track and field team entered with American apparel manufacturer, Nike.
The second count relates to subverting the anti-doping procedures where athletes who tested positive are said to have bribed the officials to have their bans reduced or erased altogether.
Kiplagat is further accused of accepting two SUV vehicles from the Qatari as inducement to vote for them to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha in his capacity as a then Council Member of the world body.