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I’m innocent: Kipsang cries on ban

Sunday July 05 2020
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An emotional former Marathon World Record Holder, Wilson Kipsang during an interview at his Keellu Resort in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on July 04, 2020, after he was hit with a four-year ban for violating anti-doping guidelines. He exonerated himself of any wrong doing claiming the Athletics Integrity Unit had earlier cleared him after he explained his whereabouts when anti-doping testing team sort for him. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNARD ROTICH

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang has denied any wrongdoing after the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Friday slapped him with a four-year ban for anti-doping violations.

The two-time London Marathon champion had on January 10 been provisionally suspended for his whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony.

But Kipsang said that he was not accorded a fair trial even after presenting evidence.

Donned in a blue faded jeans, a polo T-shirt with an Adidas logo and shoes from the same company, a dejected Kipsang wondered why AIU banned him for four years.

“By banning me for four years, AIU is not honest because of a shoddy system.

“This is a career I have built for more than 10 years,” Kipsang, who is under Volare Sports Management, said.

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He further said that he now understands why many Kenyan athletes are being banned, they have nowhere to turn to because of a failed system locally and internationally.

According to a letter seen by Nation Sport, the AIU had exonerated him of any wrongdoing and the matter had been settled but they later used it to sentence him.

“I missed two tests and I explained that it was because of circumstances beyond my control. We presented the evidence and the AIU even did away with the reason why I missed the test,” Kipsang said.

He is blaming Athletics Kenya and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya for his woes, saying they aren’t interested in athletes’ welfare.

The AIU in a letter dated February 4, 2019, said: “The AIU has carefully considered your comments. In the circumstances, we agree that on this occasion a Missed Test shouldn’t be confirmed against you.

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A letter by Athletics Integrity Unit to former Marathon World Record Holder, Wilson Kipsang, which he produced during an interview at his Keellu Resort in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on July 04, 2020, after he was hit with a four-year ban for violating anti-doping guidelines. He exonerated himself of any wrong doing claiming the Athletics Integrity Unit had earlier cleared him after he explained his whereabouts when anti-doping testing team sort for him. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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A letter by Athletics Integrity Unit to former Marathon World Record Holder, Wilson Kipsang, which he produced during an interview at his Keellu Resort in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on July 04, 2020, after he was hit with a four-year ban for violating anti-doping guidelines. He exonerated himself of any wrong doing claiming the Athletics Integrity Unit had earlier cleared him after he explained his whereabouts when anti-doping testing team sort for him. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

CHANGE OF TUNE?

“Taking into consideration the above mentioned, the AIU considers that on January 28, 2019, when the Apparent Missed Test occurred, you tried to update your whereabouts information.

“Consequently, you were compliant with article 3.5 of the Appendix A of the regulations, which requires  an athlete to update his information as soon as possible after the circumstances change and in any event prior to the 60-minute time slot specified in his filing for the day in the question.

“Your behaviour was not negligent and, therefore, the apparent Missed Test on January 18 will not be recorded against you,” read the statement.

Kipsang wondered why the same World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal used the same to nail him.

“It’s a pity it can’t follow regulations in handling sensitive matters concerning athletes. I’ve been tested more than 120 times and found clean,” a teary Kipsang said after becoming emotional.

On Friday, Kipsang’s management, Volare Sports, said they were  digging in for a fight with World Athletics after the ban.

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