AK does U-turn on athletes’ ban

Athletics Kenya Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat (right). A fumbling Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat wasWednesday forced to eat  humble pie and allow eight elite athletes compete in the Diamond League meetings. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Kiplagat on Tuesday, banned world champions Asbel Kiprop, Eunice Sum and Milcah Chemos among others, from Diamond League events starting with Rome today and Oslo on June 11 over what he termed  poor form.
  • The participation of Olympic 800m champion and World record holder David Rudisha was also in doubt as he was yet to be  cleared by his doctor.
  • Others who had been banned alongside Kiprop, Sum and Chemos, who are World champions in 1,500m, 800m and 3,000m steeplechase respectively, are World 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Lydia Chepkurui, Purity Kirui, Alfred Kipketer, Collins Cheboi and James Magut.

A fumbling Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat wasWednesday forced to eat  humble pie and allow eight elite athletes compete in the Diamond League meetings.

Kiplagat on Tuesday, banned world champions Asbel Kiprop, Eunice Sum and Milcah Chemos among others, from Diamond League events starting with Rome today and Oslo on June 11 over what he termed  poor form.

But Kiplagat summersaulted to allow them compete in Rome after a section and their managers defied his orders. The managers said AK had no authority to ban the athletes adding that the runners would compete in Rome and Oslo as scheduled.

PROTECTING ATHLETES

“What reports does AK want when they have no idea how the athletes train,” wondered a manager who sought anonymity. “We are also human and can’t force athletes to compete when they are sick as Kiplagat is claiming,” he added.

The Daily Nations Sport learnt that the AK boss was left with no option but to retreat after his orders were rubbished. “AK has decided to give a chance to only those fit to compete in Rome but they must come back for assessment,” Kiplagat said.

Kiplagat said the athletes will also be required to participate in national championships that start today at Nyayo Stadium. Those  competing in Rome will earn direct entries to the finals at the national event on Saturday.

The three-day event will be used to select Kenya’s teams to the Commonwealth Games due July 23 to August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland and the Africa Athletics Championships slated for August 10 to 14 in Marrakesh, Morocco. 

Others who had been banned alongside Kiprop, Sum and Chemos, who are World champions in 1,500m, 800m and 3,000m steeplechase respectively, are World 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Lydia Chepkurui, Purity Kirui, Alfred Kipketer, Collins Cheboi and James Magut.

In another development, Chemos has pulled out of the national championships.

The participation of Olympic 800m champion and World record holder David Rudisha was also in doubt as he was yet to be cleared by his doctor.

Kiplagat claimed the ban was meant to protect the athletes from exploitive managers.

Kiprop and Sum are among Kenyans lined up in men’s 1,500m and women’s 800m race in Rome this evening.

Kiprop will team up with his 4x, 1500m World record breaking team of Silas Kiplagat and Collins Cheboi in Rome’s 1,500m race. Others in the field are Andrew Kiptoo, Hillary Maiyo and Geoffrey Barusei.

Sum’s race has 2007 World 800m, champion Janet Jepkosgei and Agatha Jeruto, who won silver in 4x800m at World Relays.

RECORD BREAKERS

Also competing in 5,000m race in Rome are the World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, her teammate in 4x1,500m World record breaking team, Irene Jelagat, Viola Kibiwott, Janet Kisa and Agnes Jebet.

Kiprop set a Meet Record and World Lead time of 3:29.18 in his victory in 1,500m race at Doha Meeting on May 3, and would anchor Kenya’s 4x1, 500m to World Record victory of 14:22.22 at the World Relays Championships in Bahamas on May 24 to 25.

However, Kiprop would lose his Bowerman Mile race crown when he faded to seventh in 3:50.26 on Saturday.

Sum won her 800m race in Doha in a WL time of 1:59.33, claimed silver in women’s 4x800m race at the World Relays before finishing fifth in 1,500m at Prefontaine but in personal best 4:01.54.

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