By Omulo Okoth
An Austrian agent, reported in the European Press as having Kenyan athletes in his stable, was recently arrested on a dope-related case.
Stefan Matschiner, 34, was arrested, detained and later released for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing substances to athletes. Austrian police arrested him when he returned from a US trip, prosecution spokeswoman Michaela Schnell was quoted in the Austrian Press as saying.
Matschiner is a former 1,500m runner who founded his own sports agency, ISA, in 2003.
According to its website, the agency manages 23 track and field athletes, mainly from Kenya.
One of the athletes listed on his site competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The rest are young unknown runners.
But Athletics Kenya chiefs disowned the manager, saying he is not among AK registered athletes’ representatives.
"We do not know him," AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat told FeverPitch. Kiplagat denied that the Austrian was among the 10 managers who were registered with AK early this year, adding "he is a total stranger to us."
AK secretary general, David Okeyo added: "If he is managing our athletes, he is doing so illegally. We have many such people out there managing Kenyan athletes without our knowledge."
Okeyo gave the example of the athlete who died in Brazil last year, saying his manager was also not registered.
Matschiner was Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl’s former manager. He has since been released from custody, but is still being treated as a suspect.
"There are no reasons for detention anymore," said Vienna state prosecution spokesman Gerhard Jarosch, adding that Matschiner is still a suspect.
Matschiner declined to speak to reporters after leaving the prison, the paper said. Kohl was banned for two years after a doping violation at last year’s Tour de France, where he finished in third place. The cyclist admitted to using the new blood-booster Cera and said Matschiner had given it to him.
— Additional reporting by abcnews.go.com