Man impersonating as ADAK official arraigned in Eldoret court
A middle-aged man was yesterday arraigned before Eldoret Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo with eight counts of charges including falsely pretending to be an employee of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).
Thomas Kiptoo, charged with others, not before the court, was arrested on Monday morning by officers drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) after falsely obtaining money on diverse dates from two-time Paris marathon champion Paul Lonyangata.
Lonyangata was suspended for 19 months by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in February this year after admitting that he had used a prohibited substance, Furosemide.
According to the charge sheet, the accused holds both Kenyan and Ugandan citizenship and is said to have convinced Lonyangata to give him money ranging between Sh 5,000 and Sh 500,000 on diverse dates in 2021 to get his name expunged from the AIU list of suspended athletes.
Kiptoo who goes with two other aliases Ali Thamer Kamal and Thomas Kiprotich denied all the charges and was released on a sh. 200,000 bond with an assurity of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh 100,000.
Police have intensified efforts to trail and arrest other suspects whom they say are Kiptoo’s accomplices have been targeting sanctioned athletes while masquerading as ADAK officials to extort money.
Lonyangata rose to stardom in 2017 when he won for the first time Paris Marathon alongside his wife Purity Rionoripo who won the women’s category. He successfully defended his title in 2018. The case will be mentioned on 5th December 2022.
This year alone, at least 45 Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned for violating anti-doping rules with over 20 cases under review by AIU and ADAK. For the last five years, Kenya has remained within category A which has countries top on the list of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and AIU radar with fears of the country facing an imminent ban from international events.