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IAAF commision suspends Kenyan athletics chiefs

International sport has been rocked by allegations of widespread corruption and evidence of doping, with questions being asked about the integrity of major competitions.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ethics commission suspended three top Kenyan athletics officials on Monday over corruption and subversion of anti-doping controls.

The IAAF ethics commission announced the provisional suspension of the Kenyan athletics federation president and two other top officials in the "interests of the integrity of the sport."

Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat, vice president David Okeyo and 2015 world championships team leader Joseph Kinyua have been suspended for 180 days "in the interests of the integrity of the sport," the IAAF said in a statement.

The trio were suspended "from any IAAF or Athletics Kenya position pending investigation of complaints made against them and evidence and information which has been received by the IAAF Ethics Commission".

Corruption charges

Along with subversion of anti-doing controls, the trio also faces accusations that they were involved in "the potential improper diversion from Athletics Kenya of funds received from Nike."

The IAAF also said a prima facie case had "also been found to exist in respect of Mr. Kiplagat in relation to receipt, personally or by Athletics Kenya, of an apparent gift of two motor vehicles" from the Qatar Athletics Federation in 2014-15

Okeyo has denied siphoning off cash from a sponsorship deal between Nike and Athletics Kenya following reports in Britain's Sunday Times and local Kenyan newspapers alleging he made personal withdrawals from an account in which the American sportswear firm had deposited money.

David Okeyo IAAF Kongress Peking China

David Okeyo has denied any wrongdoing from his part and dealings with Nike.

Kenyan police have questioned all three officials in relation to the withdrawals.

Okeyo said in a statement last month that there was "no embezzlement of funds" whatsoever on his part, adding that the deal with Nike was transparent and denying that any cash was missing.

Kenya announced on Saturday it had banned seven athletes, including two women sprinters sent home from the World Championships in Beijing, for doping offences, raising the total number of Kenyan doping cases in the last three years to 40.

hf (AFP, Reuters)