alexa It was wrong for athletes to condemn Rita - Daily Nation

It was wrong for athletes to condemn Rita

Wednesday November 12 2014

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo crossing the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 21, 2014. PHOTO | TIMOTHY A. CLARY |

Kenya's Rita Jeptoo crossing the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 21, 2014. PHOTO | TIMOTHY A. CLARY | AFP

That Kenyan top runners under Rosa Associati called a press conference to condemn their fellow athlete - Rita Jeptoo - was to say the least a move in the wrong direction.

Deep down me, I know that wasn’t their decision but still in as far as a layman is concerned, they disowned their own at the hour of need.

Seriously, hearing the runners tell Rita to carry her own cross was the saddest thing that ever happened to the athletics fraternity.

While doping allegations have been levelled against the two-time Chicago Marathon champion, it is important to allow her to go through the process before judging her. For the athletes’ information, doping didn’t start with Rita and will not end with her.

These cases will always be there as long as we compete in major events. In any case, Kenya is not the first country to register such cases and will not be the last.

We have had countries like America and Jamaica with bigger casualties than Rita but at no time did fellow athletes condemn them on national television.

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Rita has requested for Sample ‘B’ and until it is proved otherwise, she only remains a ‘suspect’. Jemimah Sumgong’s comments especially kept me thinking. 

This is the same athlete who the other day was let off the hook, thanks to Sample ‘B’ results hence she should know better. However, she seemed to have forgotten so fast and was even the first to point a finger.

SUPPORT HER

The truth is that anything could happen and Sample ‘B’ could prove otherwise for Rita .Yes, I agree that the matter should be investigated but this is not time for athletes to engage in politics.

We all know that Athletics Kenya have taken up the matter and it is up to them to give us the direction even though they have been lukewarm in the past.

In fact, no one accused other athletes from Rosa Associati over doping issue and therefore it wasn’t necessary for them to defend themselves.

If anyone was to convene a press conference to shed more light, then it was Rosa Associati. Rita at the moment needs support and not condemnation from the very athletes they have trained and dined with.

As an athlete, your contract dictates that you train and compete period.

Issuing statements in the media especially on things you hardly understand can be counter productive. As I said last week, the stakeholders should  come together and get to the root of the doping allegations.

The problem with Kenyans is that nobody takes responsibility once these things happen.

They sweep them under the carpet and wait for the next to start talking again. It’s only in this country where heads do not roll despite glaring commission and omissions!

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