Kenya’s former marathon world record holder arrested for breaking COVID-19 curfew

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the men's professional division of the 2014 New York City Marathon in Central Park in Manhattan, November 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Tokyo Marathon 2017 – Tokyo, Japan – 26/02/17 – Winner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the finish line. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Kenya’s former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang was arrested on Thursday by police for violating the curfew imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Daily Nation reported that Kipsang was arrested in a pub in Iten town in Elgeyo-Marakwet County along with a local politician and 20 other people.

Last week on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am starting on Friday. In addition, the government announced an indefinite closure of all bars to enforce the principle of social distancing.

The county police commander John Mwinzi said the individuals were arrested following a tip-off from the public that people had locked themselves in a pub and were drinking and talking loudly.

“The suspects had locked themselves up in the establishment and were having drinks beyond the 7 o’clock set curfew time. Police had to force themselves in before arresting them,” Mwinzi told the Daily Nation.

Mwinzi criticized Kipsang, 38, who is also a police officer, for violating the rules which he is supposed to be enforcing.

“It’s unfortunate that police, instead of arresting ordinary offenders are forced to go for people of respected stature in the society who engage in mischief despite knowing well what they are supposed to do. Those are people who should be assisting us in enforcing this simple rule but ironically are in the first line of offenders,”

In January, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced that Kipsang had been provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures and tampering with samples.

Kipsang’s management company has denied the case involved the use of doping and tampering with the doping test.

Kipsang set his then-world record time of 2:03.23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon.

Kipsang is also a two-time winner of the London Marathon as well as the 2014 New York Marathon and 2017 Tokyo Marathon.

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