I’m targeted for my AK ambitions

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Wilson Kipsang (right) on his way to winning bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. Photo/PD/FILE

Former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang says his current predicament in which he has sbeen hit with a four-year ban for violating anti-doping guidelines can be traced to his irreversible differences with Athletics Kenya (AK) top brass.

In an interview with People Sport yesterday, the four time London marathon winner says his position as the president of Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) and desire to vie for an elective position when the delayed AK polls are held are some of the reasons behind his woes.

Last week the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, was handed a four-year ban by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for tampering with and providing false evidence and witness testimony.

The 38-year-old says top AK officials are determined to tarnish his reputation, arguing that he was only in his sunset years as an active athlete and was transitioning to the next phase.

“My differences with AK go way back long . I am one of the few active athletes to have sued the federation before. Go ask them, they wanted to take advantage of me a few years back.

I had to seek justice in the court. I think that is where the whole problem started,” Kipsang who says the ban has led to him deciding to retire from the sport he loves prematurely.

“ I know of people who have plans to destroy the career of top athletes they feel may threaten their positions.

It shouldn’t be like that. I think there was interference from the federation every-time I was providing information to AIU,” said the man who in 2013 clocked 2:03.23 for a new world record.

He referred to an interview he gave five years ago when he claimed that the doping issue in the country was because some coaches and officials in the country were taking advantage of the ignorance of some athletes to kill the sport.

Back then, roughly 36 local athletes had failed doping tests in a span of two years – the most prominent one being multiple Boston and Chicago marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, who tested positive for EPO in September 2014.

The 2014 London marathon winner was also on record saying that anti-doping efforts in Kenya were improving and that he had been tested six times  in 2015 alone, he actually went ahead to say he was happy with the punishment meted on doping offenders after the ban period was increased from two years to four.

“This is not about me really, it’s about all the athletes that will come after me. At my age I don’t think I will ever run competitively again. By the time the ban ends I will be way past 40 years.

I just hope that nobody else is victimised because of their stand,” he added.

“I am learning that the information AK gave Adak was false, they should have at least defended me because they were aware of what had happened,” he said.          

Reached for comment AK senior vice president Paul Mutwii said it is saddening that an athlete of Kipsang’s caliber would drag the federation’s name to his woes when he should be setting good example to junior athletes.

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