IAAF suspends top Kenyan official over bribery allegations

Aisha John-Mark with Agency Report

Former Athletics Kenya (AK) Chief Executive, Isaac Mwangi has been provisionally suspended for 180 days by the Ethics Board of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Monday “in the interests of the integrity of the sport”.

Mwangi was accused by two athletes who failed drugs tests of seeking bribes to reduce their doping suspensions. Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga say Mwangi asked each of them for $24,000 to reduce the four-year bans.

Mwangi, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he would “respect the decision of the IAAF ethics commission” while an investigation is carried out. He is the fourth senior Kenyan official to be suspended since November by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Earlier this month Mwangi volunteered to step aside from his role as AK chief executive for three weeks while Kenya’s anti-doping agency carried out a probe into the allegations. He said he wanted to have his name cleared.

Kenya has been hugely successful in middle- and long-distance running for decades but the sport.

Kenya remains a global leader in endurance race both on the track and in big-city marathons, but about 40 of its athletes have been banned for doping in the last three years.

The IAAF board said Mwangi was suspended for 180 days pending investigation of a complaint made against him in relation to “potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya”.

The spate of failed drugs cases by Kenyan athletes and corruption allegations against officials have stirred fears that the East African nation could follow Russia and be banned from global athletics, with only months remaining until the start of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.