BY FEVERPITCH REPORTER
|Asbel Kiprop. [PHOTO: FILE]|
Two time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop has denied claims that he assaulted a night guard at a restaurant in Iten on Sunday.
Kiprop, who is also the Beijing Olympics four-lap race gold medalist, instead blamed the local media for “deliberately maligning him on the matter.”
The lanky athlete was reported to have assaulted the night guard, James Mukuria, after he barred him from entering the restaurant. He was alongside training mates Andrew Rotich, Anthony Maritim, James Kangogo and former world cross-country bronze medalist Clement Lang’at.
He said: “I am shocked that the media went ahead to publish stories that puts me in bad light and misleading. We were from watching the English Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool FC that ended late at night. We were sure of not getting food in camp and decided to look for a restaurant to take dinner and that was the only restaurant operational by the time.”
MANNING MAIN DOOR
“We approached the guard (Mukuria) who was manning the main door but we differed sharply. Moments later, he allowed us in after we informed him that we wanted to take dinner. But I was surprised with the lies that was propagated by the media,” he said.
Kiprop denied reports that, while drunk, he dragged the guard, brandishing a pistol which he hit him with, from the gun butt side.
“I am a trained police officer, understand the law which I swore to safeguard and, above all, I cannot go out there and harass my fans. I have a big dream for 2014 in my athletics career which I bank on my Kenyan fans, Mr Mukuria included, for support,” said Kiprop, who was born and bred at Kaptinga Village in Uasin Gishu County.
Kiprop said he was not surprised to learn that he was branding a pistol and drunk in Iten.
“After the incident, I received calls from people identifying themselves as journalists. But I refuted all the claims, they instead decided to malign my name. I think they associated the pistol with work as a policeman,” said Kiprop.
“As a police officer, I am not assigned a gun while not on duty. At the moment, I am only armed with my spikes and training shoes. I do not take alcohol. I am an Olympic champion and I do at all times live to the spirit of Olympic movement of being non-alcoholic,” he said.
Kiprop said he has approached Mukuria to get to understand the gist of the allegations.
“I met him and admitted that I never had a gun. I now wonder why the media made such reports. It could have been fair for them to contact me before publishing the stories,” he added.
Mukuria was quoted in a section of the media as saying: “Kiprop punched on the mouth and kicked me on my private parts.”
Kiprop, however, said Mukuria looked physically fit when he met him on duty yesterday in Iten.
Earlier on, Keiyo North sub-county police boss Joseph Ireri said Kiprop would be arraigned in court once investigations into the incident are completed.