The world of running in Kenya is once again upended with allegations of doping against one of its most popular and successful athletes, Asbel Kiprop. Asbel is the three time World Champion (2011, 2013, 2015) and London 2012 gold medalist, originally silver medalist, but elevated with the positive test of Rhashid Ramzi (Bahrain).
In a story that circulating in British media over the last 48 hours, the Guardian reported the alleged positive test, which has not been confirmed by the IAAF Athletics Integrity Unit. Here’s the story from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/02/athletics-olympic-champion-asbel-kiprop-tests-positive-drug-epo-kenyan.
The test was leaked, which happens in most of these cases, and had been only noted to Mr. Kiprop in early February. In the Kenyan newspaper, the Star on 2 May 2018: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/05/03/olympic-champion-asbel-kiprop-tests-positive-for-doping-denies-claims_c1753032.
The rumor mill in our sport is amazing. Within 24 hours of a rumor getting out, it can be global. This one is sad, once again. Manager Federico Rosa noted to the Kenyan Star that he is still trying to find information on the alleged test and that it would be terribly sad if it were true.
The following is the response, via Facebook account of Asbel Kiprop, upon a request from many media, among them, our Kenyan writer, Justin Lagat.
This story is developing.
3RD MAY 2018
NOTICE OF SAMPLE COLLECTION
1. I have noted the main media reports alleging that I have doped. I have also noted social media comments on the allegation. I vehemently deny any doping. I have remained faithful to my anti-doping convictions and I will be the last person to commit such an atrocious un-sports like thing. I recall that in 2016 I supported conviction of people guilty of doping. I have built for myself a clean sports career since 2007 and I cannot throw it away with such an act.
2. I am reluctantly responding to the main media and social media comments for lack of choice. The allegations are still under investigation and inquiry and I wish the comments could have awaited its finalization. I however note the overwhelming interest from all and sundry to know my reaction to the allegation. I also note that if I do not react persons of less than good will might treat it as true, and pass judgment.
3. On 26th November 2017 I was notified by way of telephone call from an anti-doping agent, Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” to be available for doping test on 27th November 2017 at my disclosed whereabouts, by then Iten. I availed myself. Messers Paul Scott and Simon Karugu “Mburu” came into the house alone being Doping Control Officers. I know them from previous samplings. They arrived when I was still sleeping at 7.50am to collect the urine sample, and left slightly past 8.20am after the urine sample was sealed. I declared my flu medication when the sample was being taken. I was in the house with a house-mate, a Mr. Kevin.
4. It is to be noted that under World Anti-Doping Rules I was not supposed to be given notice of the intended visit to collect the sample, especially where the test is “out of competition” like this one.
5. The sample was collected when I was not in any competition. This sampling is called “out-of-competition”. My next and planned competition was to be on 4th May 2018 in Doha Qatar.
6. If I had wanted to dope then it would be less than clever to dope 7 months (in November 2017) long before my planned competition [in May 2018], when I would need the boost.
7. Further if I had any dope substance in my system then I would not make myself available for the sampling on 27th November 2017 having been given notice on 26th November 2017 of the intended visit for the sample collection. I could choose to miss the collection without any consequences. Consequences for missing sampling meeting arise only after missing 3 times. I had not missed previously.
8. I am told EPO is put into the body using injection. The last time I had an injection was in 2014 when I was given a yellow fever vaccination before travelling to Bahamas for a competition.
9. After the Doping Control Officers [Mr. Paul Scott and Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu”] arrived at 7.50am, and after I had given them the urine sample Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” asked [for the first time in their visits] if I could give them some money. He did not specify how much they needed. At 8.11am I forwarded to them money through Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu”‘s phone using M-Pesa. As a police officer I found it wise to send by M-Pesa for record. I did not at the time expect that the request for the money had anything to do with the sample. At that time I did not see the money as inducement or bribe for anything. I gave it in good faith thinking they may have some need known to them. In retrospect I now clearly see the money as having a relation with the sample collected on that date, and even the irregular advance notice I was given. Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” acknowledged verbally and audibly receiving the M-pesa money while he was seated next to Mr. Paul Scott.
10. I remain perplexed on how my innocent sample could turn positive on the only time when money was extorted from me. It is not beyond my suspicion that my sample turned positive because I might have remitted less money than I was expected to remit.
11. After I had supplied the required urine into initial vessel I left the sample on the table where Paul Scott and Simon karugu “Mburu” were seated to go to my bedroom to look for cash money upon their request. However I subsequently decided to use M-Pesa. When I went to my bedroom to collect the cash I left the urine sample, in the plastic vessel in the sitting room, where as stated above, messers Paul Scott and Mr. Simon Karugu were seated with the samples. The M-Pesa was delivered when I was still at the bedroom.
12. I don’t know if my sample was interfered with while I was at the bedroom.
13. I don’t know if the amount I remitted could have been less than what was expected from me, and if it caused annoyance that may have resulted in the contamination of the sample.
14. After i came out of the bedroom proceeded to spilt my urine sample into 2 other containers [sample “A” and sample “B”] then sealed at 8.20am. Both Doping Officers left shortly after sealing the sample at 8.20am. They left probably around 8.30am.
15. The money I was asked for was remitted 9 minutes [at 8.11am] before the samples were sealed [at 8.20am].
I have been asked to admit and be rewarded with ambassadorial role
16. When I was told for the 1st time that my sample turned positive on 3rd February 2018 [4 months after sample collection on 27th November 2017] I was extremely shocked. I was however very confident the mistake alleging I doped would be noted and I would be cleared. The nightmare has continued. However my faith in God, my trust in the goodness of humanity, and my clear conscience continue to sustain me. I do not seek any favors on the matter. I only yearn for fairness and justice beyond all schemes, politics, and machinations. I insist I am innocent even if I am forsaken.
17. I was told the process of investigation and evaluating the question of whether or not there was any dope in my sample would be confidential. I have seen one of the media outlet’s reference to AIU. I am therefore surprised at how the handlers of the issue have let it out to the main media and social media and to subject me to mob trial with a narrative designed to reflect me as guilty without my side of the story being reflected including all the above I have explained.
18. I have been asked to admit that I doped so that I would be made an ambassador of I.A.A.F on anti-doping. I have refused, as this is not only untrue but also a fraud. I do not need absolution on the allegations.
19. I have also noted individuals I held in the highest esteem lie outrightly about what they did and what they saw. This includes as to [how many people came into my house on 27th November 2017, the money received, that I was not given advance notice, about the open sample left in their care, about a 3rd party holding the lid to the sample’s vessel, where I was in the morning of the collection of the sample etc]. Others have suppressed clear facts very unfortunately.
20. I pray to be given the benefit of doubt even as I am cast into this lonely isolation. I know it may be impossible to defend myself from any accuser who has made up his mind and who would view my protestations as a mere denial. I however pray that all and sundry of good-will do not hasten to summarily make negative assumptions and judgment about me. I grave to be seen for who I am, what I have stood for and what I represent. However for the determined, before God and before man, I am innocent. I did not dope. I do not labour under the weight of the shame of doping.
Kigen Katwa K.J- Please note.