Disgraced Kenyan woman marathoner Rita Jeptoo has been urged to break her silence by her former coach and reveal the people behind her failed dope test to save the country’s future generation. (Read more in Athletics)
Italian Claudio Berardelli, who served as Jeptoo’s coach since 2011, told major Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation on Tuesday that Jeptoo and her former training mate, Agatha Jeruto, who is also serving a four-year ban for similar drug offences, could help clean up the sport in the east African nation.
“It’s a big mistake when they continue to keep quiet while they know who are behind their cases,” Berardelli told the Nation.
“I convinced Jeptoo to come out, and in fact told her to get in touch with the media and tell her story but I don’t know why she had a change of heart.”
Two-time Boston marathon champion, Jeptoo became Kenya’s first high-profile athlete to fail a test after being caught doping with the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO, and was subsequently suspended for two years.
Jeptoo has always denied doping and has challenged her suspension.
Berardelli, who announced the severing of his relationship with Jeptoo after her doping was revealed, said he had tried to convince the athletes to talk.
“I swear I have tried to have Jeptoo and Jeruto talk, but these athletes seem scared. We really need to find a way to have them talk and save this country,” Berardelli said, according to the newspaper.
Over 30 Kenyan athletes have been suspended and five more banned since 2012 after testing positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.
Many in Kenya fear doping is rife among their top class athletes too — runners who have been the source of enormous national pride.
Kenya on Saturday, under scrutiny amid allegations of widespread doping in world athletics, on Saturday announced the immediate establishment of an anti-doping agency.