Court charges coach Claudio Berardelli with doping

Athletics coach Claudio Berardelli appears before a Nairobi court on doping claims. He was charged with the crime on July 18, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The 35-year old equally won the Chicago marathon in 2013 and 2014. She was, however, banned by Athletics Kenya on January 2015 for two years for failing a drug test.

Athletics coach Claudio Berardelli has been charged with administering a banned performance-enhancing drug to world marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, amid anxiety that the move will hurt Kenya's performance in the Olympic games next month.

Berardelli, 36, was charged along with Stephen Kiplagat Tanui, a pharmacist in Kapsabet town, and Daniel Cheribo Kiplangat for conspiring to injure the athlete's profession by administering Erythroietin to her.

The offence allegedly happened on diverse dates between August and September 2014 in Kapsabet Town, Nandi County. They have denied the charges. Tanui has also been accused of operating a pharmacy without a licence.

Berardelli, an Italian national, was arrested on July 5 and held in custody until July 12, when he was released on a Sh200,000 cash bail.

He was then ordered by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo to deposit his passport in court and appear on July 18 for further directions.

Ms Jeptoo is a three-time Boston marathon winner (2006, 2013 and 2014). The 35-year old won the Chicago marathon in 2013 and 2014.

She was, however, banned by Athletics Kenya on January 2015 for two years for failing a drug test. Her ban ends in October this year.

The Director of Public Prosecutions asked the court to mention the case again on August 2, 2018 for further directions.

Berardelli's lawyer, Julius Kemboy, said his client is innocent and should be allowed to continue nurturing the talent of Kenyans.

“Let's watch we do not waste the careers of upcoming young athletes by exposing their coach to police investigations,” Mr Kemboy told the court.

Editing by Philip Momanyi

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