Athletics Kenya (AK), the track and field governing body in Kenya, finds itself in a precarious position after suspending two of the country’s top track and field managers.
The matter was complicated when the Kenyan runners vowed to stay put in their stables.
Athletics Kenya’s Executive Committee board met on Monday and unanimously approved a decision to suspend Federico Rosa of Rosa Associati as they investigate his role in two positive tests in his camp, and Gerard Van Dee Veen of Volare Sports over unspecified contraventions.
In a bold but defiant response, one of the managers has already instructed his Kenyan lawyer to write to Athletics Kenya seeking clarification on the alleged reports or rumours on his suspension, arguing there were no summons before the announcement as required.
It appears Athletics Kenya anticipated a backlash because there has been no formal communication from the track and field body to the two stables more than 48 hours later, informing them they are persona non grata until sometime in September 2015 when their cases will have been investigated and concluded.
Athletics Kenya directly engages the athletes’ agents and has the sole discretion to pick their preferred agents’ applications annually that they then forward to the world body IAAF as the registered managers approved to handle their athletes.
The boisterous depth of talent locally has led to an influx of foreign agents and coaches on the scene without a proper vetting by Athletics Kenya. As a result, some unregistered managers have been operating in the camps.
A day after Isaiah Kiplagat, Athletics Kenya’s ‘outgoing’ president made the widely expected announcement, the athletes castigated the national body and brashly defended their influential managers insisting, they would not allow any other appointed representative to act on their behalf, over some malicious call.
No crime, no evidence
At the same time, the decision is yet to be forwarded to IAAF for review pending ratification, simply because there is no substantiation.
But then it could be a tactical manoeuvre by Athletics Kenya to test the waters, before the Executive committee reverses the suspensions next week ahead of the Annual General meeting on April 30. There may be no formal notifications of suspensions.
This is a fight all too familiar for Mr Kiplagat, in what has been a long wrangle between the Athletics body and the agents.
(Read the full post on SportsNewsArena.com where it was originally published on April 16.)
Kenyan journalist Evelyn Watta won the 2014 CNN/Multichoice African sports journalist of the year award. Watta, a former NTV sports editor, was elected vice president of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 2017.