- Dramatic move by athletes management company in anti-doping war.
- Tokyo and Paris marathon winners among athletes told to keep off company.
Athletes management company Rosa Associati Company has sensationally suspended some of its world-class athletes, including four elite women marathoners, “until investigations into doping allegations are completed.”
The athletes management company’s director Federico Rosa said besides Olympic champion Jemimah Sumgong, who recently tested positive for banned blood booster EPO (Erythropoietin), they are also investigating Paris Marathon champion Purity Rionoripo, Tokyo Marathon winner Sarah Chepchirchir and Visiline Jepkesho, who won the Paris Marathon last year.
The four athletes are all training partners.
Speaking on telephone to Nation Sport, Federico, who was about to catch his flight to Nairobi, disclosed that the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) was assisting his company in investigations, but failed to state whether the suspended athletes, besides Sumgong, had turned in positive tests.
“Yes, we have suspended some of our athletes and the government of Kenya is helping us with investigations,” said Federico.
“We can’t talk much since I am about to board a plane to Nairobi. Please send me an email or let us talk when I am in Nairobi.”
Athletics Kenya deputy president in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii also confirmed having received a communication from Federico over the suspension, but declined to give details on why they suspended the athletes.
“Federico talked to one of us at AK on phone but we have summoned him to come to Nairobi so that he can explain in detail.
“We really don’t want to commit ourselves to what we don’t know and the happenings at Rosa Associati,” said Mutwii.
“We want answers from Rosa on why they have suspended athletes and if at all they have evidence involving some failed dope tests.”