NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
One of the most respected coaches of
Kenyan champion runners, Italian Claudio Berardelli, has had his
contract terminated by the employers after yet another runner
under his care tested positive for banned substances.
Rosa & Associati, the Italian based management firm at the
centre of a doping storm, fired Berardelli whose camp in Kenya
has seen three athletes test positive since 2012, the latest
being women 800m hopeful and African bronze winner, Agatha
The Italian, who was a nutritional graduate before coming to
Kenya and establishing himself as a fine coach, was the former
trainer to disgraced female marathon star, Rita Jeptoo, who was
banned in January for EPO use.
In an email, the firm’s director, Federico Rosa, expressed
shock for Jeruto’s four-year ban that was confirmed last week by
Marathoner Matthew Kisorio, who has since served a two-year
ban slapped in 2012, was the first Berardelli trained runner to
be sanctioned for doping violations.
This informed the firm’s decision to fire the coach, who has
been subject to two attempts by the local federation to ban him
from working in the country in the past.
"These athletes belong to one group is not easy to stay on
top of all the athletes as we have five camps but again all from
same group," said Rosa.
"Kisorio, Rita, Agatha.
"At the moment, we have stopped to work with the coach of
those athletes positive Claudio Berardelli.
"And we are maintaining our blood tests to prevent the
problem," added the manager who is set to come to Kenya next
week to address the issue.
In April, Athletics Kenya suspended Rosa Associati and
another management, Netherlands-based Volare Sport, to probe
suspected spike in doping cases in their camps and to date, no
report of any findings have been made public.
"Investigations are still going on and once the report is
finalised, we shall take necessary action." AK chief executive
officer, Isaac Mwangi, said Monday.
Berardelli coached Nancy Jebet Langat to 2008 Olympics women
1500m gold as well as Alfred Kirwa (Osaka 2007), Janeth
Jepkosgei (Osaka 2007) and Eunice Sum (Moscow 2013) to world
titles over 800m.
He also enjoyed success with two-time London and twice New
York Marathon champion, Martin Lel, Duncan Kibet who won
Rotterdam in 2:04, Stanley Biwott who was a runner-up in Boston
last year, among other ultimate distance stars.