Prosecutors in Kenya withdrew doping charges against banned marathon runner Rita Jeptoo’s former manager on Tuesday, saying they wanted to conduct more investigations.
Federico Rosa, an Italian national, had been facing charges that he provided or administered banned substances to Jeptoo and another little-known Kenyan runner, with some of the allegations dating back as far as 2004.
Rosa said he had been given back his passport by a court in Nairobi and was free to go. He had been out on bail ahead of Tuesday’s court hearing.
“There is no witnesses. There is nothing against me. There is no case. This is one of the best days of my life,” Rosa told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Rosa was freed, but prosecutors said they would investigate further and he could be re-arrested and re-charged.
Prosecutors had said that Rosa was complicit in Jeptoo’s doping in 2014, when he was her manager. Jeptoo, once the leading women’s marathon runner in the world, tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test that year. She was initially banned for two years, but her punishment was doubled to four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month. That CAS ruling also appeared to vindicate Rosa, with the Swiss-based court noting in its findings that Jeptoo had hidden her doping from her management and coaching team at the time.
Rosa ended his association with Jeptoo after she failed the doping test.
Although Jeptoo was named as a complainant by prosecutors in the Kenyan criminal case, Rosa disputed that his client had ever accused him of involvement in her doping.
Charges that Rosa helped administer banned substances to Elijah Kiprono Boit, a former 800-meter runner who competed at the world youth championships in 2001 and 2004, were also dropped. Rosa was accused of helping Boit dope between 2004-08.
Rosa represents a number of top Kenyan athletes, including three-time world 1,500-meter champion Asbel Kiprop and Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong. Kiprop attended Tuesday’s court hearing in support of Rosa.
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