Mystery as Rosa bosses are quizzed by CID

Rosa Associati boss, Dr. Gabrielle Rosa hugs Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong after her London Marathon victory ...
Rosa Associati boss, Dr. Gabrielle Rosa hugs Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong after her London Marathon victory in April. The elder Rosa and son Federico were grilled by CID officers in Nairobi on Monday. PHOTO/Courtesy

Top athletes’ agents Rosa Associati bosses, Dr. Gabrielle and his son, Federico Rosa were grilled by officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Nairobi for most of Monday on yet to be established charges.

The Italian registered firm handles a slew of past and present top athletes including Rio Olympics bound Beijing 2008 champion; Asbel Kiprop as well as marathoners Jemimah Sumgong and Stanley Biwott and the questioning of its top managers sent the local running fraternity into a tail-spin.

By the time of going to press, no official word from the CID on why the Rosas were questioned but the timing of their arrest, subsequent release and eventual grilling at their headquarters raised eyebrows with the Rio Olympics only a month away.

Multiple sources informed Citizen Digital that the pair were arrested last Friday in Eldoret by anti-narcotics officers where they were attending the Kenyan Trials for the Rio Olympics and their hotel rooms searched.

When it did not yield anything of interest, they were released and asked to report to the CID headquarters on Monday after their travel documents were confiscated where they were grilled for the better part of the afternoon.

The two Italians arrived at the headquarters at about 1pm (+3GMT) local time in a blue Toyota Alphard and once they noticed journalists were at the gate were quick to hide their identity.

At around, 3.45pm their driver changed their parking spot as if to signal their exit but waited at the same spot until past seven in the dark.

Earlier, Citizen Digital sought the comments of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) CEO, Japhter Rugut on the grilling but he declined to comment on the case since it was being handled by investigative authorities.

“For now we have no powers to prosecute, arrest or question anyone. When we have any information, we share with the CID and the matter is now with them,” the CEO told.

Since 2012, three Rosa athletes, Matthew Kisorio, famous female marathoner, Rita Jeptoo and women 800m runner, Agatha Jeruto have been banned for doping violations.

The Italian firm was quick to sever links with the trio with Botswana world women 400m champion, Amantle Montsho, the other top Rosa runner to be suspended for prohibited substance use.

Jeptoo, the three-time Boston and twice Chicago marathon champion has appealed her four-year ban from the sport at the Court for Arbitration of Sport and her hearing will be on Thursday.

In May last year, Athletics Kenya (AK) suspended the firm and Dutch-owned Volare Sport to pave way for investigations doping was rife in their but their athletes were allowed to compete at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing and the ban was lifted in October.

The federation has never made any findings from their investigation public.

The elder Rosa is considered as one of the greatest marathon coaches in history, has trained numerous Olympic medalists and big city marathon champions.

Retired greats, Paul Tergat, the five time world cross champion and two-time Olympics gold medallist, Moses Tanui, the two-time Boston champion and the late Samuel Wanjiru are some of the revered Rosa clients in Kenya.

-Additional reporting by Eric Kagunda

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