How Iten man forged doping letters to target Kenyan athletes

Documents bearing ADAK and AK letter heads, alongside suspicious bank slips confiscated.

In Summary

•“The perpetrators had prepared documents purporting that doping was being promoted and encouraged by several state agencies in the country,” DCI director George Kinoti said.

•He said he prepared the documents with the aim of having Kenya suspended from participating in the forthcoming Olympics in Japan.

Arrest Alert.
Arrest Alert.
Image: FILE

A man believed to be part of an international conspiracy ring that develops false doping allegations against Kenyan athletes has been arrested.

Elias Kiptum was arraigned before Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Court on Monday.

His arrest and subsequent arraignment followed investigations by the DCI Anti-Nacortics Unit detectives, who since September 2020 were pursuing a criminal syndicate which has been working with foreign journalists in fabricating information on doping in Athletics Kenya.

“The perpetrators had prepared documents purporting that doping was being promoted and encouraged by several state agencies in the country,” DCI director George Kinoti said.

He said he prepared the documents with the aim of having Kenya suspended from participating in the forthcoming Olympics in Japan.

“Forged documents purportedly signed by officials from the Anti-Dopping Agency of Kenya and Athletics Kenya were shared with the Europe-based journalists, who have been part of the ring,” he said.

In an operation by DCI detectives on April 18, a raid conducted at Kiptum's residence in Iten, within Elgeyo Marakwet County saw the confiscation of several documents bearing ADAK and AK letter heads, alongside suspicious bank slips.

Contract agreement documents between local suspects and the foreign journalists, three laptops, mobile phones among other electronic gadgets were also confiscated from the suspect's house.

“They are undergoing forensic analysis at DCI Headquarters,” he said.

Appearing before the JKIA court, Kiptum denied all 12 charges leveled against him and remains in custody pending bail ruling which has been scheduled for Tuesday April 27.

The country has faced scrutiny in the recent past over cases of doping, leading to some Kenyan athletes being banned.

Last year alone, at least nine athletes were slapped with bans for testing positive for banned substances.

Kenya would also have lost the chance for participation in 2021 athletic events had Parliament not moved with speed to pass the amendments to the country’s Anti-doping law.

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020 into law.

The new law amends the Anti-Doping Act of 2016 to align Kenya's legislative framework with the 2021 World Anti-Doping code and regulations.

The new anti-doping law also ensures the continued participation of Kenyan athletes in local, regional and international competitions in line with the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Convention against doping in sports.

Kenya was among countries at risk of being barred from all local, regional and international competitions had it not passed the amended law by December 31 to align with the new code.