What you need to know:
- Athletics coach Claudio Berardelli, his assistant Daniel Cheribo and doctor Stephen Kipchumba did not administer a performance-enhancing drug to disgraced world marathon champion Rita Jeptoo in 2014, a trial court heard on Monday.
- Ms Jeptoo, who is serving a four-year ban from the IAAF, told senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that “at no time did Berardelli, Daniel Cheribo and Dr Stephen Kiplagat Tanui alias Kalya administer the EPO drug ( Erythropoietin)”.
- Ms Jeptoo cleared the trio from any blame that they administered to her the prohibited drug.
Athletics coach Claudio Berardelli, his assistant Daniel Cheribo and doctor Stephen Kipchumba did not administer a performance-enhancing drug to disgraced world marathon champion Rita Jeptoo in 2014, a trial court heard on Monday.
Ms Jeptoo, who is serving a four-year ban from the Athletics Kenya Association Appeals Board, told senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that “at no time did Berardelli , his assistant Daniel Cheribo and Dr Stephen Kiplangat Tanui alias Kalya administer the EPO drug ( Erythropoietin)”.
Ms Jeptoo cleared the trio from any blame that they administered to her the prohibited drug.
“I was informed that tests revealed that I was using prohibited drugs . How they were infused into my body I do not know. None of these three accused persons administered the drugs,” Ms Jeptoo stated.
Answering questions from lawyer Julius Kemboy, who is representing Berardelli and Cheribo, Jeptoo said she does not know when the EPO was detected during the Chicago marathon was administered to her.
She added that she was only treated by doctor Kalya for injuries suffered during an accident on August 15, 2014.
Shown a medical report under her name by Mr Kemboy, it emerged that the 2006 and 2013 Boston marathon and Chicago 2013 marathon champion had been using those banned drugs since April 2012.
Mr Kemboy presented a judgement from Athletics Kenya Appeals Board ,which indicated that the champion had been using the enhancers to conquer the world since 2012.
“Are you aware that panellists in the appeals board found that you had been using these drugs since 2012?” Mr Kemboy asked Ms Jeptoo, who was one of the witnesses to testify in the case against Berardelli, Cheribo and Dr Tanui.
The three are accused of conspiring to injure a person in his/her profession contrary to section 395(d) of the penal code. They have denied conspiring to administer a prohibited substance namely Erythropoietin in order to injure the profession of athlete Rita Jeptoo.
Cross-examined at length by Mr Kemboy , Ms Jeptoo said she was treated at the Kapsabet Medical Centre when she was involved in an accident on August 15, 2014, and also in September the same year.
“When you were asked questions during the doping examination test in USA did you tell your handlers the name of your doctor?,” Mr Kemboy asked her.
“No I did not tell them the name of the doctor who was attending to me. My Doctor is Kagan,” she responded.
Asked further about the doctors she was seeing , Ms Jeptoo said she told Berardelli she was seeing Dr Rotich.
“My Doctor is Kagan,” I have indicated so in the forms I filled in my documents."
Jeptoo’s Aunt, Anne Jemutai Langat told a packed court that the athlete disturbed laboratory attendants in Laussane, Switzerland when she was being subjected to a doping test.
“I was called into the Laboratory where the tests were being conducted in 2015 and as I entered the room I found the director shouting and throwing his hands in the air saying she (Jeptoo) had disturbed them,” Ms Langat testified.
Ms Langat said she accompanied the marathoner during all the doping tests trials in USA and AK because she had a language hitch.
Ms Lagat said after the Laussane altercation between Ms Jeptoo and the doping experts , she wrote a letter apologising to them as “ the athlete had a language handicap.”
Ms Jeptoo had disclosed to her aunt that she became agitated when she saw the examiners of her specimen mixing them and asking her questions which did not understand.
“Did they (examiners) tell you Jeptoo attempted to grab the specimen from them? ,” Mr Kemboy asked Ms Langat.
“They did not tell me that but all they reported to me was that she (Jeptoo) disturbed them,” Ms Langat answered.
Berardelli, 37, has been charged along with Stephen Kiplagat Tanui, a pharmacist in Kapsabet town, and Cheribo 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.
The trial continues on Tuesday when the prosecution led by Ms Everlyn Maika will call three witnesses.