Asbel Kiprop: Parents gave me shoulder to cry
He maintains that he never doped and that there was a conspiracy to frame him in a wider plot to bring down his career.
Banned 1500m star Asbel Kiprop has revealed how his parents; daddy David Kebenei and mom Julia and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai have come in handy to rescue him from self-destruction.
In his first interview with the media since April 20 when the Athletics Integrity Unit disciplinary tribunal ruled that he tested positive for banned Erythroprotein (EPO), Kiprop told Standard Sports and KTN the news simply threw in a deep hole and ‘nowhere to run to.’
A troubled and visibly distressed Kiprop said his parents offered him a shoulder to lean on after friends deserted him.
The three-time world champion said his father David Kebenei, also a former 1500m runner for Kenya, was thunderstruck by the report, but was strong enough to embrace him and offer a shoulder to cry on.
“My father talked to me as he used to do when I was his little boy. He told me to soldier on and never be bogged down by the doping allegations,” Kiprop said.
He said his father encouraged him to stay focused and pick up the pieces and pursue his athletics career after the doping ‘turbulence.’
Kebenei, represented Kenya at the 1987 All-Africa Games hosted in Nairobi finished fourth in the 1500m race. And like Kiprop, Kebenei was also a police officer.
Kiprop, who is the elder brother of Victor Kipchirchir, a 1500m athlete described his mother Julia Kebenei as a strong pillar who came to his rescue following the ruling.
“My mother supported me in a big way. The strong bond of a mother and son played out. She reminded me of Mark 11:25 in the Bible which calls on an offended person to forgive and pray for his enemies,” Kiprop, a Chief Inspector of police said.
“The doping issue has stressed me and has affected my children and colleagues. I don’t even use recovery supplements, leave alone banned substances,” said Kiprop.
The winner of the 2011, 2013 and 2015 world championships thanked the National Police Service (NPS), and particularly the Inspector General Mutyambai for facilitating his weekly professional counseling services. He said the counseling sessions have helped calm him down.
“I would not be under such stress if I had doped. I would be hiding my face somewhere waiting for my ban to end to return to the sport,” said Kiprop.
He said if it turns out, from his appeal, that he didn’t dope, he will not take any legal action against IAAF and AIU, but will instead forgive his “tormentors.”
And to his fans across the globe, Kiprop said: “I have entertained you for many years and no matter what they say. I also want the AIU officials who came to collect my samples to explain to the world what happened during the process.”
It is mid-morning at the Elgon View estate in Eldoret when The Standard caught up with Kiprop, the athletic and unassuming champ who has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
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