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Posted: January 24, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Published Report Says Agents Banned By Athletics Kenya

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

History Shows Most Will Be Restored Quickly

In what has become an annual ritual each winter, Athletics Kenya has released a list of athlete managers which it says are no longer able to do business in Kenya. However, it is likely that at least some of the four managers named in a report published by Agence France-Presse will be allowed to continue working with Kenyan athletes.

According to the report published on Jan. 21, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said that Britons Chris Gowar and Ian Ladbrooke, American Hussein Makke, and Frenchman Khellil Benhalima will not have their licences renewed for the 2009 season.

"We have received a lot of complaints from the athletes that these managers were not paying them the full share of their race earnings or were withholding their money against their wishes," AFP quoted Kiplagat as saying at a news conference in Nairobi.

Race Results Weekly was able to reach two of the managers for comment, and both were confident that Athletics Kenya would reinstate them, shortly. In fact, Makke said that he had already been cleared.

"I can confirm that there was a misunderstanding and I am a registered athlete representative for Kenyan athletes for 2009 under Athletics Kenya," Makke wrote in an e-mail message. "I hope this will clear up the issue."

Ladbrooke, who also works as an elite athlete coordinator for events, said that his reinstatement was coming, shortly. "It's a minor issue and will be sorted out very soon,'' Ladbrooke commented via e-mail.

Gowar and Benhalima could not be reached for comment.

Athletics Kenya has felt more pressure from athletes to take a tough stand with agents after a celebrated case several years ago where a French manager was convicted of abusing his group of Kenyan athletes, including new marathon star Evans Cheruiyot. Cheruiyot said that the unscrupulous agent made his athletes sleep 14 to a room, and withheld their race winnings.

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