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May 3, 2018

A critique of Asbel Kiprop’s response to doping allegations

Allow me to be completely honest for a moment: I thought Asbel Kiprop was clean. There’s always been some skepticism around Kiprop because of the company he holds, lack of reliable testing in Kenya, and probably a lot of other good reasons, but my defense of him was that he looks like a spider. I’m not sure if spiders are innately quicker than their respective Animalia counterparts but as someone who assumes a lot about things he knows nothing about, I assume they are. My defense was bad and doomed to fail. And fail it has.

Below is Kiprop’s statement regarding his failed drug test and it is bizarre as hell. The text in bolded italics is my commentary. Please enjoy:

  • “I have noted the main media reports alleging that I have doped. I have also noted social media comments on the allegation. I vehemently deny any doping. I have remained faithful to my anti-doping convictions and I will be the last person to commit such an atrocious un-sports like thing. I recall that in 2016 I supported conviction of people guilty of doping. I have built for myself a clean sports career since 2007 and I cannot throw it away with such an act.”

“Vehemently” has and will only ever be used by guilty people denying something they obviously did.

  • “I am reluctantly responding to the main media and social media comments for lack of choice. The allegations are still under investigation and inquiry and I wish the comments could have awaited its finalization. I however note the overwhelming interest from all and sundry to know my reaction to the allegation. I also note that if I do not react persons of less than good will might treat it as true, and pass judgment.”

Can’t say I really follow this one. I always thought “sundry” was a word to describe granolas and trail mix. My skull is full of hammers and nails.

  • “On 26th November 2017 I was notified by way of telephone call from an anti-doping agent, Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” to be available for doping test on 27th November 2017 at my disclosed whereabouts, by then Iten. I availed myself. Messers Paul Scott and Simon Karugu “Mburu” came into the house alone being Doping Control Officers. I know them from previous samplings. They arrived when I was still sleeping at 7.50am to collect the urine sample, and left slightly past 8.20am after the urine sample was sealed. I declared my flu medication when the sample was being taken. I was in the house with a house-mate, a Mr. Kevin.”

Ok so this one is fun. We have Kiprop snitching on Mr. Simon (an anti-doping agent) about warning him of the impending test. Mr. Simon would be a bad person to invite to a surprise party.

“Hey Mr. Simon. We are having a surprise party for Asbel at 5:00 tonight. Don’t tell him”


*opens phone, texts Asbel*

“Hey dog see you at 5 tonight”

I also need to know more about Mr. Kevin. Between Mr. Simon and Mr. Kevin, I feel like Kiprop is under the impression he’s in daycare.

  • “It is to be noted that under World Anti-Doping Rules I was not supposed to be given notice of the intended visit to collect the sample, especially where the test is “out of competition” like this one.”

He’s now trying to pin this entire thing on Mr. Simon. I think this called a ‘Red Herring.’ I’m most likely wrong.

  • “The sample was collected when I was not in any competition. This sampling is called “out-of-competition”. My next and planned competition was to be on 4th May 2018 in Doha Qatar.”

You can probably cancel that trip.

  • “If I had wanted to dope then it would be less than clever to dope 7 months (in November 2017) long before my planned competition [in May 2018], when I would need the boost.”

But if you’ve been doping the whole time it probably makes really good sense.

  • “Further if I had any dope substance in my system then I would not make myself available for the sampling on 27th November 2017 having been given notice on 26th November 2017 of the intended visit for the sample collection. I could choose to miss the collection without any consequences. Consequences for missing sampling meeting arise only after missing 3 times. I had not missed previously.”

Sometimes you do shit knowing you’re going to get caught. I was playing capture the flag a few months ago at a high school running camp and I knew I was never going to get the flag and bring it back over to my side. I knew I would be caught. But knowing that truth didn’t stop me from trying. I wanted to get burnt. By crossing the line, I caused a brief mayhem for those kids. It was terrific. The screams, the panic, the crisis. It would have been easier to stay on my side and avoid the conflict, but a there’s a sick, twisted piece in us all that wants to push against the impossible.

That was a dumb analogy.

  • “I am told EPO is put into the body using injection. The last time I had an injection was in 2014 when I was given a yellow fever vaccination before travelling to Bahamas for a competition.”

I am told the sky is blue. The last time I looked was in 2014 so, you see, I’m a complete dumbass and have no idea how anything works.

Monetary extortion

After the Doping Control Officers [Mr. Paul Scott and Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu”] arrived at 7.50am, and after I had given them the urine sample Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” asked [for the first time in their visits] if I could give them some money. He did not specify how much they needed. At 8.11am I forwarded to them money through Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu”’s phone using M-Pesa. As a police officer I found it wise to send by M-Pesa for record. I did not at the time expect that the request for the money had anything to do with the sample. At that time I did not see the money as inducement or bribe for anything. I gave it in good faith thinking they may have some need known to them.  In retrospect I now clearly see the money as having a relation with the sample collected on that date, and even the irregular advance notice I was given. Mr. Simon Karugu “Mburu” acknowledged verbally and audibly receiving the M-pesa money while he was seated next to Mr. Paul Scott.”

This is great. “If I could give them some money.” Man, that is some pleasant extortion. There is also a great moment of epiphany for Kiprop when he realizes the advanced notice and request for money could – maybe – have something to do with the doping test.

  • “I remain perplexed on how my innocent sample could turn positive on the only time when money was extorted from me. It is not beyond my suspicion that my sample turned positive because I might have remitted less money than I was expected to remit.”

This could translate to “I can’t believe those assholes didn’t cover up the test like I paid them for. The only lesson here is to pay them more” but that’s up to your interpretation. That’s just theory.

  • “After I had supplied the required urine into initial vessel I left the sample on the table where Paul Scott and Simon karugu “Mburu” were seated to go to my bedroom to look for cash money upon their request. However I subsequently decided to use M-Pesa. When I went to my bedroom to collect the cash I left the urine sample, in the plastic vessel in the sitting room, where as stated above, messers Paul Scott and Mr. Simon Karugu were seated with the samples. The M-Pesa was delivered when I was still at the bedroom.”

This has turned into a game of Clue.

  • “I don’t know if my sample was interfered with while I was at the bedroom.”

Probably wasn’t.

  • “I don’t know if the amount I remitted could have been less than what was expected from me, and if it caused annoyance that may have resulted in the contamination of the sample.” 

Enough already. We get it. You are a bit cheap when it comes to bribes.

  • “After I came out of the bedroom proceeded to split my urine sample into 2 other containers [sample “A” and sample “B”] then sealed at 8.20am. Both Doping Officers left shortly after sealing the sample at 8.20am. They left probably around 8.30am.”

Pouring liquids out of containers can be a real mess.

  • “The money I was asked for was remitted 9 minutes [at 8.11am] before the samples were sealed [at 8.20am].”

He’s creating a timeline here. For what, I do not know. As far as I can see, he paid the doping testers. That is probably all that matters. He woke up at 7:50 and was already hitting Venmo by 8:11. I’m not trying to pay anyone within 20 minutes of getting out of bed. That’s a desperate, scared man.

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