The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Asbel Denies Carrying a Gun and Assaulting a Night Guard

DOUBLE world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop has denied claims that he assaulted a night guard at a joint in Iten on Sunday night.

He said the reports have been blown out of proportion and doesn't represent a world champion who have respect for everybody.

Kiprop, who has dominated the three and half lap event for quite sometime, explained that he was from watching an English Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool, but deviated to have a meal at the said joint.

The Olympic champion was accompanied by other athletes--Clement Lagat, James Kangogo, Anthony Maritim and Andrew Rotich.

Kiprop admitted that he had differed with the guard, who he identified as James Mukuria, at the entrance after he blocked him from entering. "I told him I only wanted to confirm if food was still being sold. My fans who were at the venue intervened and he then recognised me and allowed me entry."

The following day, Asbel said he started receiving phone calls from private numbers seeking to extort lest they put the story in the media.

"The story is not true and I didn't assault anyone. They demanded money but refused to give any and stood my ground. This is the reason behind all these stories," he said.

Kiprop also refuted claims that he had his gun, saying he doesn't carry a gun while on unofficial duty. He said he is currently engaged in serious training ahead of the new athletics season.and the gun is currently at the police headquarters in Nairobi.

"I am surprised to read that I had a gun. I don't have it at the moment because I am training and police rules doesn't allow someone to identify himself in the manner that was reported," he said, adding: He insisted: " I do at all times live to the spirit of Olympic movement of being non alcoholic."

Kiprop said he has been in training all throughout the festive season and revealed that he has never visited a pub since he started his career.

"One can't train and use alcohol since it is prohibited by Olympic laws and personally I don't drink and I know its consequences," he said. He added that he was not aware that the guard had reported anything to the police since he had left just immediately after entering the food joint.

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