'Prodigal son' Wilson Kipsang asks for forgiveness

The 2012 London Olympics marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang during the interview at Nyayo National Stadium on June 23, 2021.

Photo credit: Ayumba Ayodi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kipsang noted that lately, Kenyan athletes were being banned for violating the whereabouts rules and not for taking banned substances.  
  • “I know I am still under suspension but I am ready to partner with Athletics Kenya, Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) to sensitise athletes on this issue of the whereabouts,” said  Kipsang, who challenged Kenyan athletes reprimanded for doping violations to come out and talk about it.

Just like the biblical parable of the prodigal son, former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang is back home.

Kipsang, the 2012 London Olympics marathon bronze medallist, finally broke his silence to profusely apologise and ask for forgiveness from the country and his fans across the world.

The World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal banned the long-distance runner for four years with effect from January 10, 2020 for his whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony.

“It’s sad that I let down the country and my fans across the world, but it wasn’t intentional...I never meant to disgrace them and I have never doped since I began competing in 2005,”said Kipsang, who was speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.

”I will not make any excuses since the ban could have been avoided by following the basic anti-doping rules, “explained Kipsang, adding that he hasn’t been at peace since the ban. 

“It has really pained me that I have been a role model to many across the world with my exploits only for my chequered career to go down the drain because of a stupid thing,” noted Kipsang, adding that he is determined to resuscitate his career and hang his running shoes on a high.

Kipsang noted that lately, Kenyan athletes were being banned for violating the whereabouts rules and not for taking banned substances.  

“I know I am still under suspension but I am ready to partner with Athletics Kenya, Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) to sensitise athletes on this issue of the whereabouts,” said  Kipsang, who challenged Kenyan athletes reprimanded for doping violations to come out and talk about it.

“They need to free themselves instead of making excuses that don’t add up. It will help in the fight against doping,” said Kipsang, advising the government, ASK and AIU not to relent on the war against doping.

However, Kipsang noted that elite athletes go through many challenges that drive them to the edge, hence the need for counselling or genuine people to talk to.

“You have to be in their shoes to feel it, but again, that isn’t an excuse to miss tests. I have learnt a lot with regrets,” said Kipsang, advising fellow athletes to stop engaging in shylocks, but instead seek loans from credible financial institutions or help.

Kipsang confessed that he once fell prey to the shylocks where he wasted a lot of money trying to pay back.

“What I ended up paying was so much that I regretted it. Investments where profits are 30 per cent is simply fraud,” said Kipsang, urging athletes to plan well for retirement and invest.

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