Athletics Kenya’s top leadership was entangled in an intricate web of corrupt and shady deals.
In 2003, it emerged that Nike had been remitting $72,000 yearly (Sh6.4m) to AK officials as honorarium, and the amount rose to $100,000 in 2011.
The money was received by three top AK officials and at one point, a $500,000 (Sh44.5m) “commitment bonus” from Nike was remitted to them.
An email sent on November 4, 2010 show that the late AK president Isaiah Kiplagat demanded the bonus from Nike executive Lotwis Robert and John Capriotti.
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“Dear Robert, US$500,000 being commitment Bonus,” wrote Kiplagat in a mail marked “URGENT”.
And in a response, sent the same day and copied to Capriotti, Robert responded in one line: “Got it. I will submit right away. Thanks.”
On November 8, $485,000 was wired to AK’s bank account and on November 10, Nike wired a further $19,250. What is curious is the speed at which the money was withdrawn from AK accounts or transferred to other accounts. The developments culminated in the suspension of the Kiplagat and two AK officials in November last year by IAAF Ethics Board.
They were accused of bribery, subverting the anti-doping process and embezzlement of AK sponsorship funds from Nike.
Kiplagat was also accused of accepting, either personally or on behalf of Athletics Kenya, an “apparent gift” of two motor vehicles from the Qatar Association of Athletics Federations between 2014 and 2015, a time Doha was bidding to host the 2019 world championships.
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