Major Michael Rotich: Former head of Kenya's track and field team banned for 10 years

Major Michael Rotich at Nairobi Court in August 2016
Major Michael Rotich initially appeared at Nairobi Court in August 2016 over the allegations

The former head of Kenya's track and field team has been banned from athletics for 10 years.

An IAAF ethics panel found Major Michael Rotich agreed to give advance notice of drugs tests to athletes and coaches for financial gain.

It said the "purpose of the agreement" was to "assist those athletes to flush their systems of banned substances before taking doping tests".

Rotich managed the Kenyan athletics team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The IAAF panel said he "sought to obtain personal pecuniary benefit from the deliberate subversion of anti-doping controls, thereby distorting competition".

It added there was no evidence Rotich provided advance notice of doping tests to specific athletes, or that any payments changed hands, but that he "acted corruptly and in deliberate violation of core principles of the IAAF's code of ethics".

The allegations arose from an investigation by the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD on the eve of the Rio Games, when they secretly filmed Rotich apparently making an offer to provide prior warning of drugs tests in return for £10,000.

He said he was only going along with it because he wanted to find out who the undercover reporters were and "protect" athletes.

But the story led to him being sent home from Rio and triggered investigations by the IAAF - athletics' world governing body - and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, along with Rotich's suspension.

Meanwhile, Bahrain's Olympic women's marathon silver medallist Eunice Kirwa has been provisionally suspended after failing a doping test.

Kirwa, who switched allegiance from Kenya in 2013, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), a banned blood-boosting hormone that improves endurance, said the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in a statement.

The gold medallist, Kenyan Jemima Sumgong, was suspended in 2017 for using the same substance but was allowed to keep her medal as she tested positive in April 2017.

Top Stories