alexa AK cracks the whip on agents over races - Daily Nation

AK cracks the whip on agents over races

Monday July 6 2009

Sammy Kitwara (center) breaks away from his Kenya Police team mate Gideon Ngatuny to win the 10,000m at the National Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium in July. Both runners qualified for the World Championships but were dropped from the team to Berlin. Athletics Kenya on Tuesday named them to Kenya’s team to the World Half Marathon Championships that will be held in Birmingham, England, next month. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

Sammy Kitwara (center) breaks away from his Kenya Police team mate Gideon Ngatuny to win the 10,000m at the National Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium in July. Both runners qualified for the World Championships but were dropped from the team to Berlin. Athletics Kenya on Tuesday named them to Kenya’s team to the World Half Marathon Championships that will be held in Birmingham, England, next month. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO 

By CHRIS MUSUMBA

Two top athletics agents, Italian Gianni Demadona and Volker Wagner (German), have been struck off the list of managers to represent Kenyan athletes at international competitions.

The two, who represent Gideon Ngatunyi and Sammy Kitwara respectively, became the first to bear AK wrath for entering their athletes in meetings in Japan and USA without seeking Athletics Kenya’s authorisation.

This comes after AK held a meeting with both the agents and elite athletes and agreed to run in races only sanctioned by the federation.

Burning out

“No athlete is allowed to run in any meeting abroad without first seeking our permission. This is step taken to protect them from burning out as we prepare for the Berlin World Championship,” said Kiplagat last week. “How many races have you seen Ethiopians compete in, may be two or one, why are our athletes keen to run everywhere when the focus should be on Berlin.”

Head coach, Julius Kirwa, said athletes will only be allowed to run in shorter distance races from 5,000m.

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“We are not allowing any athlete to run in races over 5,000m. If one is a 1,500m runner, he should compete in 800m and not anything above his speciality,” said Kirwa.

Kiplagat, a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council, wrote to Wagner and Demadona copying his directive to Weiss Pierre, the secretary general of the global body saying Kitwara and Ngatunyi had been selected to represent Kenya in 10,000m in Berlin.

The two were thus was not allowed to compete in any race without clearance from AK.

“While we wait for your explanation on the matter, you are hereby suspended indefinitely from representing any Kenyan athlete and the IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss is being informed accordingly to effect this decision and remove your name from the list of those representing Kenya and to inform all meet organisers accordingly,” said Kiplagat.

The AK chairman also accused Demadona of obtaining visas from embassies without the federation’s letters. “We are now addressing a separate letter on the same to embassies,” said Kiplagat.

Kitwara, winner at the national championships’ 10,000m race, ran in Atlanta in a 10km race while Ngatunyi, who was second at the national championships, ran in a half marathon in Sapporo, Japan. Both athletes won their respective competitions.

Demadona must also explain why he entered World Junior 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist, Elizabeth Mueni, in the Oslo Golden League meeting last weekend.

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