The detention of Federico Rosa on doping claims has sent shock waves in the Rosa Associati stable, which has six athletes in team Kenya heading to the Rio Olympic Games slated for August 5- 21.
Yesterday, 18 athletes under the Rosa Associati stable addressed a press conference where they sought to absolve their managers saying, “Athletes dope in chemists as individuals.”
The six of the 18; –three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, London Marathon winner Jemimah Sumgong, London Marathon runner-up Stanley Biwott, two-time world 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui, world cross country silver medallist Bedan Karoki and Paris Marathon winner Visiline Jepkesho – are in Olympic-bound squad.
The arrest of Federico and being charged at the Kibera Law Courts with doping related charges has put the athletes in an awkward situation.
Asbel said they are under pressure over the doping claims levelled against their agent.
“Certainly, we feel the pressure from these claims. I have been in the Rosa camp since 2007 and no one has ever lured me to dope. Athletes should be protected from these adverse developments because clearly we know nothing about charges facing him,” said Asbel.
Sumgong said: “Such news paints our image as dopers when we are not. It’s good the truth comes out.”
Tanui sought divine intervention. “It’s
God who gave us the running talent and if we dope, he will deprive us with endowment.”
Mathew Kisorio, the 2008 world 5,000m silver medallist and who served a ban for using a banned substance Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2012.
“I was banned after I doped as an individual and had nothing to do with Federicco. I was administered with the drug in a chemist in Eldoret without the knowledge of Rosa and Company Associates. I was then summoned to Athletics Kenya headquarters where I shared all the details with them and went on to serve my term,” said Kisorio, who left the Rosa and Associates camp when the term elapsed.
“I am surprised no one bothered to follow up or even talk about the chemist. Most of the athletes who have tested positive dope in chemists and we should not shift blame to managers. AK knows this and they should have advised the Government accordingly.”
Three-time Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo, Agatha Jeruto, the 2014 world 4x800 silver medallist Agatha Jeruto and Kisorio are among top athletes from Rosa camp to have turned positive dope tests.