As the war on doping intensifies, conmen purporting to work for World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) are extorting money from unsuspecting athletes.
Three men purporting to be Wada officials who have allegedly been conning athletes were arrested in Eldoret on Monday. The move appears to shed some light on allegations that some athletes give out money to sports administrators to evade the doping dragnet.
Eldoret OCPD Nelson Taliti said the three were caught attempting to con an athlete in a hotel in Eldoret. Taliti said police set up a trap and allowed the athlete to call them to the hotel to ‘do’ the testing.
“We found out that two of them were around waiting for the athlete, while the other one coordinated from outside the town,” said Taliti. When the athlete suspected them, he informed the police who began to track them down.
“We asked them if they had any identification as officials from the doping agency which they didn’t have hence we arrested them. We will arraign them in court soon,” said Taliti.
He said they tried to extort Sh500,000 from the athlete. Another athlete had lost Sh1m to the conmen, Police said.
“This is a syndicate that has been threatening upcoming athletes. They claim to be Wada officials and order them to part with money lest they test them,” said Taliti. One affected athlete who requested to be named and trains in Kapsabet, said the suspects called him asking for an appointment for dope test.
“I refused to meet them in Eldoret and instead asked that they come to Kapsabet. They refused,” said the athlete.
“I consulted my coach who advised me to report to police, just in case they were conmen. I did so and we went to Eldoret with the police,” said the athlete.
“I asked them to produce proof that they work for Wada and they did not. I then sensed they were not genuine. I have been tested many times by anti-doping officials. Police stormed in and arrested them,” said the athlete.