Isaac Mwangi has been provisionally suspended over alleged subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya

Athletics Kenya (AK) chief executive Isaac Mwangi has been provisionally suspended from all offices or positions in either Athletics Kenya or the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the IAAF Ethics Board has announced.

The chairman of the IAAF Ethics Board, Michael Beloff QC, on Monday issued the provisional suspension “in the interests of the integrity of the sport”.

“Mr Mwangi is provisionally suspended from any office or position in either Athletics Kenya or the IAAF which he presently holds and is precluded from assuming any new office or position in either organisation for a period of 180 days starting on 22 February 2016, pending investigation of a complaint made against him and information that the IAAF Ethics Board has seen,” reads an IAAF Ethics Board statement in part.

The provisional suspension comes after allegations that Mwangi asked for money to reduce the doping bans of two athletes, Joy Sakari and Koki Manunga. Both Sakari and Manunga were handed four-year suspensions after they failed doping tests at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last August and they reportedly told The Associated Press that Mwangi had requested $24,000 bribes to reduce their bans.

Last week it was reported that Mwangi was to temporarily step aside pending an investigation into the claims. Mwangi has denied the allegations, and reportedly described the claims made by the two athletes as “just a joke”.

“The Chairman of the Ethics Board has imposed this Order for Provisional Suspension having carefully considered the information referred to the Ethics Board, which discloses a prima facie case, i.e. a case warranting investigation, against Mr Mwangi in relation to potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya,” adds the IAAF Ethics Board statement in part.

“The Ethics Board stresses that the imposition of an Order for Provisional Suspension in this case in no way prejudges the outcome of the investigation which will now be carried out by the Board’s appointed investigator, Mr Sharad Rao. Mr Mwangi remains presumed innocent until the outcome of the investigation and the determination of any disciplinary charges which may follow from that investigation.”

The news follows the IAAF Ethics Board’s decision last November to provisionally suspend three senior AK officials – president Isaiah Kiplagat, vice-president David Okeyo and former treasurer Joseph Kinyua – also “in the interests of the integrity of the sport”.

Also on Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released an update on the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK)’s compliance with the WADA Code.

“Following the Kenyan Government’s failure to pass the appropriate legislation and provide adequate funding by the 11 February deadline, the matter has been referred to WADA’s independent compliance review process,” read a statement in part.

“The matter will be reviewed by the independent Compliance Review Committee at its next meeting on 5 April, and consideration will be given to a possible recommendation of non-compliance to WADA’s Foundation Board on 12 May.”