Athletics Kenya defends renewal of permit for coach

Coach Claudio Berardelli


Athletics Kenya (AK) has defended its decision to recommend renewal of world permit for an Italian coach whose athlete is serving a two-year doping ban.

AK President, Isaiah Kiplagat, said it is better to have a coach with valid immigration papers than tens of foreigners roaming Rift Valley Province without their knowledge.

“He has been around for 10 years. He may have been mentioned but that does not mean he is guilty. We are still waiting for a report from the committee we set up to investigate the cases,” Kiplagat told FeverPitch.

Claudio Berardelli is the coach of Rita Jeptoo, who failed a doping test and was subsequently banned for two years by AK in January. AK recommended him for a work permit for a further two years effective November 1, 2014.  The letter addressed to the Director of Immigration and Registration of Persons signed by Kiplagat, is dated February 9 this year.

Banning Threat

“The above named has been coaching at Iten on a work permit which has since expired. We have no objection to the same being renewed for a further two years and not one as earlier stated, with effect from 1st November, 2014,” said the letter.

Kiplagat repeated his earlier threat to ban agents with more than four athletes who will fail a doping test.

He issued the threat two weeks ago. “We are still waiting for the report and we won’t spare them (managers),” he said.

Turning to coaches who are working outside their radar, Kiplagat said they are almost unable to control them because they don’t know how they come into the country.

“They come disguised as tourists and start working as coaches in the Rift Valley Province, notably in Iten. We need to rein in them because they are worse than those we know and have been working with,” he said.

“We shall investigate each case on its own merit, not relying on blanket accusation,” said the AK supremo who has come under a torrent of criticism from 14 branch chairmen of the federation.

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