Kimetto cries foul for neglect
By Chris Musumba | December 17th 2014
Nairobi, Kenya: Banned athlete Viola Kimetto has come out fighting after being slapped with a two-year suspension by Athletics Kenya for doping.
However, it has emerged, lack of communication and neglect from AK might have led to her suspension for a crime which, Kimetto says, she could have successfully appealed.
“I was never informed of the doping case. I competed in 2013, how come they called me a year later on November 10, 2014 to defend myself?
“This was, apparently, after International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had on several occasions notified AK to pass the information to me, but nobody bothered to do so.
“AK even sanctioned me to travel to Croatia and compete at the Zegreb Marathon on October 12 this year. If they knew I had doped in 2013, why did they allow me to travel and compete in Europe? I could not get a visa without their authorisation, which they did provide,” said Kimetto.
It is in Zegreb that IAAF Communication Officer Laura Gallo raised the red flag for the second time, asking Viola’s Italian manager Claudio Arduini to tell her athlete to stop running until her ban is fully served.
“Please find attached a letter sent to AK regarding Kimetto’s positive finding. I’d be grateful if you forward it to the athlete and ask her to send an explanation (with relevant documents) in writing to me as soon as possible. In the meantime make it clear to her she should stop competing,” said the email from Laura to Claudio.
“I am looking forward to hear from you concerning the authorisation letter sent to you by AK.”
The authorisation letter is the one Kimetto used to secure a visa to travel. It means AK were aware of her pending doping case, but still cleared her to run.
In a letter sent by Dr Gabriel Dolle, who was head of IAAF Anti-Doping Administrator and recently resigned after he was implicated in a doping scandal, AK was notified of Kimetto’s case on January 24, 2014 after she competed at Macau Marathon on December 1, 2013. However, AK Chief Executive Officer Isaac Kamande Mwangi, who Dolle addressed the letter to, opted to ignore it.
“Urine samples from Viola Kimetto in Macau Marathon revealed presence of prohibited Norandrosterone. I now ask you to notify the athlete in writing of the finding of her results. She has an opportunity to provide an explanation and request sample B,” said the letter from Dolle.
But AK opted not to act and the athlete continued to compete. Her chance to hand in sample B went up in smoke as the appeal time ellapsed.
Another athlete, Julius Mutai, who was second in the men’s race in Macau, was summoned by AK in September after he too was suspected to have doped. He explained his case, but his fate is yet to be determined. He was not on the dope list released by AK.
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