NAIROBI (Reuters) – Michael Rotich, the former head of Kenya’s track and field team, has been banned from athletics for 10 years after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) found him guilty of “dishonest and corrupt” conduct.
The IAAF’s ethics panel found that Rotich, who managed the Kenyan athletics team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, agreed to give advance notice of drugs tests to athletes and coaches in return for money.
The allegations stemmed from an undercover Sunday Times investigation in which they secretly filmed Rotich apparently making an offer to provide prior warning of drugs tests in return for 10,000 pounds.
In its decision that was published on Wednesday, the IAAF said Rotich’s explanation — that he had gone along with the interview because he was investigating the reporters — was not credible.
The panel added that there was no evidence Rotich provided advance notice to specific athletes, or that payments changed hands, but he “acted corruptly and in deliberate violation of core principles” of IAAF’s code of ethics.
The panel said Rotich had failed to provide a defence or respond to questions.
Rotich’s representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Kip Keino, former President of National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and a double Olympic gold medallist, called for those who use athletes for their own benefit to be jailed.
“We don’t need selfish people in this country. We need people who guide athletes towards achieving results through fair play,” he said.
(Reporting by Isaac Omulo; Writing by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Toby Davis)