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Kenya's Rio Olympics Team Manager gets 10 years ban

Wednesday May 22 2019

Kenya Olympics Field and Track manager Michael Rotich in a Nairobi court on August 10, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU |

Kenya Olympics Field and Track manager Michael Rotich in a Nairobi court on August 10, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Michael Rotich, the team manager of Kenya's athletics team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, has been banned for 10 years from any athletics-related activities besides being fined Sh 1.9 million.

While delivering the ruling on Wednesday, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Ethics Board found Rotich, who is a retired Major in the Kenya Defence Forces, culpable of having breached its rules.

The panel comprising Lauri Tarasti (chairman), Akira Kawamura and Juan Pablo Arrigada detailed that Rotich was found guilty of having agreed to provide advance notice of drug tests to athletes and coaches in exchange for money.

The panel noted that Rotich knew when doing so, it would allow athletes to flush banned substances from their systems in order to circumvent doping tests.

“Major Rotich suggested excuses which athletes could use to avoid being penalised for missing a drug test,” said the statement.

The sanction comes to effect from the date of decision on May 22, 2019.

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"Rotich has a right of appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, within 21 days of the date of this decision, in accordance with the procedure set out in rule R47 et seq. of the CAS Code of Sports-related arbitration."

At all relevant times, Rotich was the Head of Athletics Kenya North Rift Province and was the team manager of the Kenyan athletics team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro held from August 5-21, 2016.

Rotich was suspend on August 12, 2016 by IAAF and kicked out from the Rio Olympics Games after allegations arose from an article entitled “Rio Olympics hit by new doping scandal” and accompanying video footage, both of which were published by the Sunday Times on August 7, 2016.

“In these circumstances the Panel has concluded that Major Rotich should be banned for 10 years from taking part in any athletics-related activity including holding any relevant office in athletics.” "In addition, the Panel has levied a fine upon Major Rotich. He is ordered to pay the sum of US$ 5,000 dollars (Sh 500,000) to the IAAF.”

The Panel also found that Rotich has committed violations of the Code of Ethics and accordingly the general rule is that the procedural costs amount to US $ 14,000 (Sh 1.4 million) should be borne by him.

“Major Rotich has not identified any exceptional circumstances such as would warrant the costs being reduced or waived,” stated the ruling.

“When the Panel had noted that it has not been necessary to hold a hearing because of the nature of the evidence, which was contained entirely in documents and footage, and because of the Defendant’s failure to file a Defence in these proceedings, the costs incurred by the IAAF Ethics Board are more limited than they might otherwise have been.”

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