A NAIROBI court has summoned the retired major Michael Koskei Rotich as an apparent noose tightens around the doping saga that has marred athletics in Kenya lately.
Rotich is charged with conspiring to use St Lukes Orthopedics and Trauma Hospital in Eldoret for unlawful promotion of the use of prohibited substances to athletes.
Team Manager Major (Rtd) Michael Rotich and sprints coach John Anzrah stay in Rio being was cut short days after their arrival when they were embroiled in doping scandal.
Rotich was thrown out from Rio and subsequently suspended for 90 days from athletics by world body IAAF after a sting operation by German TV ARD and British publication Sunday Times caught him on tape alleging he could tip off athletes on impending visits of drug testers in his capacity as a team manager.
Three British athletes fear they may be dragged into the legal battle in Kenya after being named by a group of local men who have been charged with supplying performance-enhancing drugs.
The Kenyans include a doctor, Samson Talei, and two other men, Ken Kipchumba and Joseph Mwangi, who were arrested last year after being covertly recorded saying they supplied athletes, including the Britons, with banned drugs such as EPO.
Last year a court detained the marathoner for 28 days after being repatriated from Rio over doping allegations.
Honour the summons
The detention was ordered to give police more time to travel overseas to interview journalists who linked Rotich to doping bribery claims.
Rotich was sent home from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by Kenyan authorities after the British newspaper The Sunday Times reported allegations that he agreed to take a 10,000-pound ($13,000) bribe in exchange for helping athletes beat doping tests.
Police initially asked that he be held for seven days, but they later requested a longer period in order to complete their investigation. Rotich who is the Athletics Kenya (AK) North Rift branch chairman is accused of demanding money to give warnings about doping tests.
In issuing the order, magistrate Christine Njagi called doping a serious offense that needed to be investigated. Njagi said recently Parliament enacted the Doping Act to protect the country’s image and that courts would not slacken to join in the war to “defend and protect the image of this country for the common good of us all”.
The magistrate said the “doping allegations against Mr Rotich are serious as they have brought into disrepute the good name of this country, a respected sports power house”.
Summons and the subsequent charge against Rotich are a culmination of the aforementioned investigations.
He is expected to honour the summons on May 21 2018.
The charge sheet states that between January 2016 and February 2016 in Eldoret Township, Usain Gishu County, jointly with others already in court, he committed the offence.