2nd Kenyan track official sent home in doping scandal

Carla Harmon
August 12, 2016

Kenyan athletics coach John Anzrah was sent home from the Rio Olympics after he posed as an athlete and gave a urine sample in a doping test, Kenya's Olympics chief told Reuters on Thursday. "We can not tolerate such behaviour", Keino said in a telephone interview from Rio after a Kenyan media outlet reported Anzrah had been sent home.

Kenyan police and prosecutors are seeking an order to hold Michael Rotich in custody for a week while they investigate, and said they don't want him to be released because he's likely to interfere with their investigation.

But one senior source at Kenya's running federation, Athletics Kenya (AK), said he had spoken to the concerned athlete who claims Anzrah used his accreditation purely to obtain free meals from athletes' village. "He was. taken to the doping control station purportedly as Ferguson Rotich and subjected to produce the sample and he signed".

Ferguson Rotich finished fourth in the 800 meters at the world championships in Beijing a year ago.

Worldwide track body the IAAF will seek information on the incident from the IOC and could launch its own investigation, IAAF spokesman Yannis Nikolaou said in a statement emailed to the AP.

The Sunday Times report cast even more suspicion on Kenya's track and field program days ahead of the start of the athletics events at the Rio Olympics on Friday.

Anzrah is a former Kenyan 200- and 400-meter runner and competed at the world championships in 1987.

Deputy President, William Ruto who had just landed in Rio for the Games issued a stern warning to officials saying action would be taken on any caught putting the country's runners into disrepute. Kenya's sports minister is also in Brazil with the team.

The latest doping allegations, coming on the eve of the first track and field competition at the Rio Games, arrive at an awkward time for organisers and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which this month removed Kenya from its list of nations deemed "non-compliant" with its doping code.

Last weekend, Kenyan track team manager Michael Rotich was sent home after undercover reporters alleged he sought a 10,000 pound ($13,000) payment from them to help athletes evade doping tests back in Kenya.

Michael Rotich was send home and is now under arrest in Kenya and facing criminal charges.

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