Athletes arrested, released in Iten

Monday, March 30th, 2020 22:03 |
Athletes arrested.

Timothy Simwa

Fifteen athletes were arrested and later released by police in Elgeyo Marakwet yesterday after they were found training in a group contrary to social distancing rules put in place to protect the public against the spread of Covid-19.

Elgeyo Marakwet county police commander John Mwinzi confirmed the incident as he warned members of the public and athletes against breaching the set rules to mitigate the spread of corona virus in the country.

“Our officers in conjunction with county health officials were alerted of a group of athletes who were training in one of the camps around contrary to earlier directives curtailing mobility and social distancing. We moved to arrest them,” said Mwinzi.

According to Mwinzi, the group consists of both local and foreign athletes who have been in the country since the outbreak and there was no cause for alarm.

The athletes were held for more than three hours at the Iten police station before being released on a free bond.

It is believed that after training, the athletes retreated to rest in a group before the police pounced on them.

“We have reminded them of the rules they should strictly follow in the course of their training and we are not about to relent in making sure these guidelines are followed to the letter,” added Mwinzi. 

A fortnight ago, the county government of Elgeyo Marakwet through governor Alex Tolgos moved to close all training camps in the area that attracts athletes from all over the world. 

The county’s altitude is the most preferable for most athletes which has seen Iten host both local and international sports personalities throughout the year until the outbreak of coronavirus in the country on March 13.

His counterparts in Uasin Gishu and Nandi followed suit and equally closed training camps in their counties.

Currently, athletes are only allowed to train for a few a hours in a maximum of five while observing the laid rules of social-distancing after which they are required to retreat to their homes.

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