The Kenyan Olympics team manager, Michael Rotich, is in police custody. He was arrested on Tuesday following allegations that he accepted a cash bribe in order to warn athletes before doping tests.
Mr. Rotich was allegedly filmed accepting a £10,000 bribe from undercover journalists posing as athlete representatives a few months ago in a report published by the Sunday Times of Britain.
He was expelled from the ongoing Rio Olympics in Brazil on Monday, and was arrested upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Rotich, who hasn’t been formerly charged for any crime, is set to remain in police custody for seven days to allow investigations to be completed.
“ADAK (Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya) will immediately begin investigations into the allegations for a possible anti-doping rule violation. If found within violation of the rules, he will be subject to sanctions and any other disciplinary measures in line with the anti-doping rules,” ADAK said in a statement.
Giving Kenya a Bad Name
For a long time, Kenya has been hailed as the home of middle and long-distance marathon athletes, but in recent years this glory has been tainted by a string of doping allegations with dozens of Kenyan runners testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.
These allegations have been hanging over the heads of many renowned Kenyan athletes, even threatening Kenya’s participation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Kenya was just removed from the World’s Anti-Doping Agency’s watch list last week after the Kenyan president signed into law a bill criminalizing doping in Kenya.
Thus these new corruption allegations against Mr. Rotich are seen as a challenge for Kenya to prove to the World Anti-Doping Agency its commitment to fighting the use of performance-enhancing substances by Kenyan athletes.
On his part, Mr. Rotich claims he only accepted the bribe as part of his own investigation into allegations of corruption in the fight against doping.