Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, pictured winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, was suspended for doping in January. Now her agent has been suspended by Athletics Kenya pending further investigations ©Getty Images

Athletics Kenya has suspended two agencies - Rosa Associati and Volare Sports - for six months pending investigations into a spate of doping cases involving home athletes.

The National Federation is acting in the wake of 36 Kenyan runners testing positive in recent months, including the three-times Boston and twice Chicago marathon champion, Rita Jeptoo, a Rosa athlete, who was banned for two years in January for erythropoietin (EPO) use.

Several of these athletes were represented by the two agencies in question.

Rosa Associati, which comprises Gabriele Rosa and his son Federico, also manages world 800 metres champion Eunice Sum and world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, a vocal opponent of doping who has expressed his despair at the latest turn of events.

Investigations are being carried out by the Athletics Kenya  Medical and Doping Commission, the newly established Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and the Kenya Police.

Volare Sports, managed by Dutchman Gerard Van der Veen, works with notable athletes such as marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto, former world record holder Wilson Kipsang and Geoffrey Mutai, a former two-time winner of the New York City Marathon and a Boston Marathon champion.

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Dennis Kimetto celebrates breaking the world marathon record in Berlin last September with Dutch agent Gerard Van der Veen, who has now been suspended by Athletics Kenya following a series of doping cases involving some of the country's top athletes ©Getty Images
"There have been a lot of reports relating to doping in Kenya and a lot of fingers pointed at people, agents, doctors and pharmacists," Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat told a news conference in Nairobi.

"We know it’s an intricate issue and critical matter and we want to deal with it.

“As a Federation, we have decided to suspend two agents in the time being so that investigations can be carried out and when the results are out we will decide whether they come back.

“The two we are going to mention manage the highest number of elite athletes.

"We will therefore, working with the IAAF and meet promoters of the Diamond League and so forth to agree on the modalities of how we will manage these athletes so that they do not miss competition.

“This suspension or the Kenyan way now of stepping aside will be for a period of six months; the two that we have today decided that let us put them aside are Rosa and Associates and Gerard van der Veen.”

Rosa closed their female marathon training camp in Kapsabet recently over doping allegations, subjecting all athletes in their camp to dope testing at Eldoret Hospital.

Van de Veen told Reuters he would have no comment until he had seen details about what was announced.

Officials at Rosa & Associati could not immediately be reached.

Asbel Kiprop has criticised the decision to suspend Rosa Associati, the Italian-based agents who look after him
Asbel Kiprop has criticised the decision to suspend Rosa Associati, the Italian-based agents who look after him ©Getty Images

Speaking to Kenya’s CapitalFM Sport, Kiprop said the decision to leave him and other colleagues without a manager had the potential of wrecking their season.

“The wind of low athletes that are doping has now affected even those of us at the top that are clean and train hard to win,” he said.

“I have never used drugs and this will affect the sport itself.

“We don’t what to do now since we don’t have a manager.

"They should punish those involved individually.

"We need our manager to stay in Europe during Diamond League races in Italy for example, now we don’t know what to do.

 “One thing is the managers will not be affected.

"Rosa will stay in Italy and Gerard in Netherlands.

"It is we who will suffer.

"Our managers give us space to focus on training and looking for another at this stage of the season will not be easy.”

Athletics Kenya also announced the closure of the Keringet training camp ran by former national cross-country team coach Charles Ng’eno and banned him from handling any local athletes’ indefinitely.

Kiplagat also said he would be stepping aside from his post at Athletic Kenya from May 1 to campaign for a seat in the International Association of Athletics Federations. 

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