Kenya’s Anti-Doping Agency has said it will investigate allegations that their athletics team manager, Major Michael Rotich, offered to give athletes prior warning of drugs tests in return for £10,000 payment.
The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD secretly filmed Major Michael Rotich, who marched with the Kenya team in Friday’s opening ceremony, apparently making the offer.
In the footage, recorded in Iten during January and February this year, Rotich appears to request a one-off payment to give athletes 12 hours’ advanced notice of a pending drugs test. He seems to claim he could provide this information as he knew the official anti-doping testers.
However, he has subsequently said he was only played along with the sting to find out who the undercover reporters were so he could “protect” athletes.
ARD reporter Hajo Seppelt posted a statement about Rotich from Athletics Kenya on Twitter announcing his immediate recall from the Games and promising he will face an investigation into “very serious allegations”.
— Hajo Seppelt (@hajoseppelt) August 6, 2016
This is the latest scandal to hit Kenyan athletics. The country was only removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of “non-compliant” countries on Friday and has twice failed to meet Wada’s requests for anti-doping mechanisms to be put in place.
Since 2011, more than 40 Kenyan track and field athletes have failed doping tests and been banned from competing.
Athletes even faced special testing before the Rio Games, which opened on Friday.