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October 22, 2018

EX-Olympic team manager charged over doping links

Retired Major Michael Koskei Rotich at a Milimani court. /FILE
Retired Major Michael Koskei Rotich at a Milimani court. /FILE

Ex- Olympics team manager retired (Maj) Michael Koskei Rotich who investigators believe is behind the doping saga that has marred athletics lately has been charged.

Rotich appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi on Tuesday facing a single charge of conspiracy to effect an unlawful substance contrary to the law.

He was accused that on different dates between January and February 2016 in Eldoret Township within Uasin Gishu County, he jointly with others who have already been charged, conspired to unlawfully promote the use of prohibited substances to athletes in Kenya.

They, according to the prosecution conspired to use St Lukes Orthopedics and Trauma Hospital in Eldoret to commit the offences.

He was directed to pay a cash bail of Sh 200,000 to secure his freedom pending trial which is set to begin on July 23.

Read: Agents on the spot?:Adak told to target managers in the wake of the latest doping reports

Rotich was the Team Manager of the sports team that Kenya sent to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Brazil.

On August 8, 2016, he was deported from Rio De Janeiro on the allegation that he had been involved in subverting the doping procedure of athletes.

On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, he was arrested and detained pending investigations.

He was later taken to court but was not charge as investigations were not over.

His arraignment in court this week follows a decision by Justice Luka Kimaru, who said the police were at liberty to charge him if investigations were complete.

The judge said his arrest in 2016 and arraignment in court before without any charge being preferred against him breached his fundamental right to liberty and freedom.

In his ruling, justice Kimaru said Rotich should not be arrested or detained by the police, but be summoned to present himself to court to take plea.

Rotich made headlines two years ago after he was allegedly filmed by the two media outlets demanding 10,000 pounds (Sh1.3 million) for agreeing to warn a British coach about imminent doping tests.

Also read: Kenya not banned from Olympics despite Wada decision

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