IAAF suspend Kenyan body’s chief
The IAAF has provisionally suspended the chief executive of Athletics Kenya amid allegations he asked athletes for bribes to reduce doping bans.The governing body for athletics said it took the decision concerning Isaac Mwangi “in the interests of the integrity of the sport”.
An investigation into “potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya” will now take place. He denies wrongdoing and said he wanted to leave his post to clear his name.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said it was “most disturbed” by the claims.
“The allegations have caused me a lot of mental anguish,” Mwangi said in a letter to Athletics Kenya. “I am anxious to have my name cleared.”
Two suspended athletes claimed Mwangi had asked for money in exchange for more lenient punishments – allegations Mwangi said were “unsubstantiated”.
“Mr Mwangi remains presumed innocent until the outcome of the investigation and the determination of any disciplinary charges which may follow from that investigation,” added the IAAF statement.
BBC Sport revealed last week that Kenya had missed a deadline to prove to Wada it was tackling cheating in athletics, following a string of positive drugs tests and corruption allegations.
It will be placed on a ‘watch-list’ of nations at risk of breaching the agency’s code, and could then be declared non-compliant and ultimately banned from international competition – as has happened with Russia’s athletes.
The east African country, whose athletes are dominant in distance running, finished top of the medal table at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with seven golds.
But since 2011, more than 40 of its athletes have failed drugs tests.
Three other senior officials at Athletics Kenya were suspended last year by the IAAF while an investigation took place into allegations of “subversion” of the anti-doping process in Kenya and “improper diversion” of funds received from Nike.
Vice-president David Okeyo, a council member for the IAAF, president Isaiah Kiplagat, and Joseph Kinyua, a former treasurer of the national association, all deny any wrongdoing.