Michael Rotich

Nairobi, Aug 13 (IANS) Kenyan athletics manager Michael Rotich was released on bail after he was sent home from the ongoing Rio Olympic Games due to allegations that he helped cover up doping charges for cash.

High Court judge Luka Kimaru on Friday ordered Rotich’s release on medical grounds after his lawyer told the court that his client suffered from diabetes and liver conditions, reports Xinhua.

The track and field coach paid $2,000 in cash for his bail.

The court directed Rotich to report to the investigators twice a week until investigations are over.

Justice Kimaru however, warned Rotich that the bail will be cancelled if he interferes with witnesses. He has not been formally charged.

He was sent home by Kenyan authorities after British newspaper The Sunday Times reported allegations that he agreed to take a $13,000 bribe in exchange for helping athletes beat doping tests.

He was arrested immediately upon arrival and arraigned in court, which ordered his detention for 28 days to give police more time to travel to Brazil to interview journalists who linked him to the doping claims.

Rotich has denied accusations published in the British newspaper, which said he had been filmed by undercover journalists who posed as athletes representatives some months ago, arguing he has been against the vice for the last 40 years, he has trained sportsmen and women.

Kenya, a country with an impressive history of middle and long-distance running, has been tainted by a string of doping scandals with over 40 Kenyan runners failing dope tests in the last four years.

The country has struggled to convince the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

It is taking the issue seriously by putting into law a bill to criminalise doping which was signed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in April to avoid an Olympic ban.

WADA has since taken Kenya out of its non-compliance list after the country passed an amended anti-doping bill in June.

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