NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Rosa
Associati, the Italian management company of banned Olympics women marathon
champion, Jemimah Sumgong, claimed it was not quizzed by Kenyan anti-doping
authorities over her EPO bust.
became the first Kenyan female runner to win the Olympic marathon title at Rio
2016 was slapped with a four-year ban from the sport by the Anti-Doping Agency
of Kenya (ADAK) effective from April 3, 2017 following an out-of-competition
test where the athlete tested positive for the banned blood booster.
Speaking at a
local radio station, Kass FM, Rosa Associati founder, Gabrielle Rosa and his
associate, Pierre Giuseppe, said there would be no route back for Sumgong at the
management firm even if she serves her ban that was upheld on November 7, 2017
following a failed appeal.
informed about the positive test and next was the information [about] the
four-year ban. Nobody asked us anything, there were no investigations, there was
nothing.” Guiseppe stated.
on whether the ADAK involved them in their investigation into the latest case,
the Rosa Associati official was adamant.
“No, it is
not true. Maybe the investigation went through the athlete who tested positive,
because there was no reason to come through the company,” he stressed.
has been active in Kenya for 27 years and expressed regret at the high-profile
bust of the 2016 London Marathon winner who was preparing to defend her crown.
she did not feel good. We are all mature and we know very well when you do
something wrong, you should be ready to pay the consequences. I’m sorry for
Jemimah personally because there are human feelings involved but it is the
reality and we have to face it,” Giuseppe added.
the company from claims that it was complicit, insisting that the doping problem
was restricted to a few rogue runners.
doping every time. I have been a coach for 51 years and [have] been fighting
doping all that time but in Kenya, there is a problem with some athletes. You
cannot control everybody,” Guiseppe said.
“We try to
explain [to athletes] it is not possible to use doping, [it will] destroy your
life and when you are discovered, you are finished if you did it. The best way,
is to be straight to follow training and to be sure you can go for a good result
anyway,” Gabrielle Rosa insisted.
son, Federico Rosa, who manages the athletes was arrested ahead of the 2016 Rio
Olympics on doping charges after another suspended Kenyan female marathon star,
Rita Jeptoo, a former three-time winner of the Boston marathon, accused the
company of helping her inject EPO in her system.
were later dropped and the founder of the company still represents over 100
Kenyan runners. He maintains that the country’s athletes are clean and says they
would not work with any athletes who break anti-doping rules.
“What I know,
something is going to change in Kenya. I know you can go to prison if you are
involved in doping and this is a good way and we need to train young athletes to
be serious and not trust [those] pushing them [toward] doping,” he said in
supporting the criminalization of doping in the country.
coaches and foreign agents from the scourge that has seen almost 50 Kenyan
athletes banned for substance abuse since 2012, sparking the crisis that saw the
country flirt with an international ban ahead of Rio 2016 alongside suspended
athletes stay at home with their families, I can say Kenya is clean but you
cannot stay with them as bodyguards and if anyone wants to go the other way,
it’s their problem. It is not my job, it’s a small Kenyan problem,” Rosa
efforts by ADAK and Athletics Kenya to address the problem that has threatened
Kenya’s distance running reputation were also backed by his associate.
doing a lot of prevention; seminars with athletes to explain and teach that is
the first part. They have improved out of competition controls and there is no
other way. You cannot sit with athletes all the time,” Giuseppe said.
there is little athletes’ representatives could do to prevent convicted cheats
from returning to the sport after serving their bans, stressing they would no
longer work with those who are in violation of anti-doping regulations.
Giuseppe were in Kenya for the annual Eldoret Discovery Cross Country founded by
Gabrielle 27 years ago. The race took place on Sunday in the northern Kenyan
Sumgong and Jeptoo, other former Rosa clients from Kenya who have been banned
for doping are Matthew Kisorio and 800m runner, Agatha Jeruto.