Kenya chief suspended by IAAF

NAIROBI • Kenya's top athletics official was provisionally suspended by the Ethics Board of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Monday "in the interests of the integrity of the sport".

Athletics Kenya (AK) chief executive Isaac Mwangi has been accused by two athletes who failed drug tests of seeking bribes to reduce their doping suspensions. Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga say Mwangi asked each of them for US$24,000 (S$33,742) to reduce the four-year bans.

Mwangi, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he would "respect the decision of the IAAF ethics commission" while an investigation is carried out.

He is the fourth senior Kenyan official the sport's world governing body has suspended since November.

Earlier this month Mwangi volunteered to step aside from his role as AK chief executive for three weeks while Kenya's anti-doping agency carried out a probe into the allegations. He said he wanted to have his name cleared.

Kenya has been hugely successful in middle- and long-distance running for decades but the sport, which carries enormous prestige in the East African nation, has been overshadowed by doping allegations that have tainted athletics globally.

Kenya remains a global leader in endurance running both on the track and in big-city marathons, but about 40 of its athletes have been banned for doping in the last three years.

The IAAF board said Mwangi was suspended for 180 days pending investigation of a complaint made against him in relation to "potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya".

In November, the IAAF ethics board suspended three other senior AK officials, including former AK president Isaiah Kiplagat, over corruption allegations.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2016, with the headline 'Kenya chief suspended by IAAF'. Print Edition | Subscribe