Lynette Matheka @PeopleSports11
Kenya’s latest athletics sensation and World Cross-Country junior bronze medallist Celliphine Chespol is not happy. Chespol’s source of agony is what she terms frustrations from Athletics Kenya (AK) youth affairs chairman Barnabas Korir.
In a letter addressed to AK, IAAF Ethics Commission, Sports Dispute Tribunal and Professional Athletics Association of Kenya, Chespol claims Korir tricked her into signing a dubious contract and has also been profiteering from her kit sponsor.
The youngster alleges that Korir forced her into signing a deal with Golazo Management when she was just 16 in 2015 after threatening to exclude her from the then World Youth Championship team where she was selected to represent Kenya in 2,000m steeplechase in Cali, Colombia.
She claims to have signed a one-year contract only to discover later that the deal was to run for two years and that she was paid half, $5,000 (Sh500,000) instead of $10,000 (Sh1 million) for a separate deal that she signed with kit manufacturer Nike.
“I insisted to know about contract and why I want paid (sic) my cash in full but Mr Barnabas Korir didn’t disclose the details of the contract and told me to concentrate on with running (sic) and stop asking many questions,” reads part of Chespol’s letter.
She further blames Korir and his agents of collecting her kits from Nike without her knowledge as well as misinforming the anti-doping team of her whereabouts leading to her missing two doping tests.
Korir has, however, refuted the claims, saying Chespol is trying to divert attention after avoiding Doping Control Officers (DCO).
“I have never been an agent and I have not been involved in any contract signing for Chespol. If you look at that contract, you will not find my name anywhere. I do not receive kits on behalf of athletes and any contractual money is sent directly to athletes’ accounts,” said Korir.
He added: “She has missed two tests, in February and April, and is at risk of getting a two-year ban if she misses a third. As AK, we have explained that to her. The DCO’s testing her reached out to me after she missed her second test, which was supposed to be taken at Kasarani, and after questioning her she said she was in Nairobi CBD. She could not explain why she was not picking DCO’s calls and why she did not try make it to Kasarani in the one hour window provided by IAAF for such tests.”
In March 2018, Chespol signed a contract with Owen Anderson without terminating the deal with Golazo, an issue that has landed her in more trouble as she has failed to secure AK’s clearance for Doha and Shanghai Diamond Leagues.
“Her contract with Golazo should have ended on December 31, 2017 but she did not express interest to leave as is required and that contract automatically continued in 2018. The issue is being resolved between the two managers since official records with AK and IAAF reflect that she is under Golazo,” said Korir.