The Star (Nairobi)

15 November 2012

Kenya: Athlete Agents Are Rounded Up

THIRTY foreign managers and coaches who were operating in the country illegally have been flashed out in the fear they could be involved in the recent doping claims surfacing abroad involving Kenyan athletes.

Twenty of them were operating in Iten while the others were in different parts of the country. Speaking at the ongoing athletics Kenya Seminar in Eldoret, the federations' president Isaiah Kiplagat said these managers and coaches had been in the country for close to ten years.

The move was necessitated by claims the managers were mishandling athletes and colluding with international journalists to raise a false alarm that doping is rampant in Kenya.

"You know these people want to influence our athletes to use blood boosters so they can win easily and make a quick kill out of the athletes' proceeds. We want registered managers and coaches whom are responsible people so they do not mess with our heroes," Kiplagat reiterated.

He confirmed there are no foreign coaches and managers handling athletes' affairs in the county without a work permit. "In fact I am amazed that these coaches were acting as if they are professionals. We requested their qualifications and what we learnt has come as a shock," Kiplagat said.

He called on the immigration department to be aware of foreigners who enter the country without valid documents or reasons. Kiplagat said it is a fact that no Kenyan citizen can be allowed to transact any business abroad without a work permit and that the same should be the case for Kenya.

Meanwhile matters on investment by athletes dominated the third day of the seminar. The young athletes were advised to emulate the successful active and retired athletes.

Former Olympic 3,000m steeplechaser Patrick Sang said athletes need guidance when it comes to making the right choices on investment.

"Nowadays they earn a lot of money and this seminar has come at the right time so they can now know how to make investments. They must realise an athletics career takes a short span of time and they need to start planning for the future," Sang advised.

World marathon champion Abel Kirui said the seminar had sharpened them in awareness on investment opportunities and how to go about exploiting them.

"We have invested a lot in this town and I think for me I have benefited a lot from this seminar. My colleagues should know that they are building their future as well as improving our country's economy. Hence they should not squander their earnings," Kirui said.

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