Kenyan official pushed out of Olympics amid doping, bribery allegations


Kenya’s Olympic track and field manager Michael Rotich was ordered to leave the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro following new allegations of doping and bribes by a British newspaper. Rotich will be questioned upon his return to Nairobi in a criminal probe.

CCTV’s Celestine Karoney reports from Rio de Janeiro.

Rotich was implicated in an investigative expose by the Sunday Times newspaper, which reported that he was secretly filmed offering to protect cheating athletes from drug-testing authorities.

The article said he offered he offered to provide advance warning of doping tests in return for a 10,000-pound ($13,000) bribe during an undercover investigation by the newspaper, the Associated Press reported.

The news comes just five days before Kenya’s acclaimed track and field stars compete in Rio.

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“The reason we send him home isn’t on disciplinary grounds, but to spare integrity,” Team Kenya’s Chief of Mission Stephen Soi said.

Kenya Sport Minister Hassan Wairo added that they have instructed the country’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations to continue the probe.

Kenya’s government is promising to show “no mercy” looking into the allegations, which come just three days after Kenya was declared compliant with the World Anti-doping Agency code, following a non-compliant verdict in May.

Kenyan athletes, known for middle- and long-distance running success, are among the most tested in the world.

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The track and field events in Rio begin on Friday when Kenya hopes to improve its poor showing from the London Olympics, where they only won two gold medals.

Some Wairo sees malice in the timing of these new allegations.

“We feel injured as a country in the frequent digging to mar our image with allegations,” Wairo added.

Last year Kenya enjoyed a successful world athletics championship where the running nation finished top of the standings for the very first time.

Story written with information from the Associated Press.