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New Zealand athlete arrested in Iten over unlicensed gun, sexual assault

  Zane Robertson was in March this year slapped with an 8-year ban after a New Zealand Sports Tribunal ruled that he had attempted to subvert the doping control process. [Courtesy, PhotoSport]

A New Zealand athlete has been arrested in Iten after he was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Zane Robertson, 33, a New Zealand middle and long-distance athlete, was arrested on Wednesday evening after police discovered an AK-47 rifle and 23 rounds of ammunition in his house on the outskirts of Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Keiyo North sub-county police commander Tom Makori said a woman had reported the New Zealander for sexually assaulting her during a house party on Tuesday.

Makori said police from Iten discovered the rifle in the process of arresting him for questioning in relation to the sexual assault complaint.

“The suspect has been living in Kenya for several years. He has bought land and built his residence. Our preliminary investigations indicate that the AK-47 in his possession was unlicensed,” the police commander said.

He added: “Police had gone to arrest him for questioning in relation to a sexual assault complaint, but he declined to open the door. Later, after the police gained entry, they discovered that he was in possession of a gun.”

Makori said the foreigner is being held at Iten police station for interrogation.

“We will produce him in court tomorrow. We may seek more time to conclude investigations,” he said.

Robertson was in March this year banned for eight years after a New Zealand Sports Tribunal ruled that he had attempted to subvert the doping control process.

He is New Zealand’s record holder in the marathon, half-marathon, and 10km.

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