Nairobi (AFP) - Kenya's athletics boss has urged top female marathoner and drugs cheat Rita Jeptoo to spill the beans on her secret doping network when she appears before a disciplinary panel.
Jeptoo, winner of the last two consecutive Boston and Chicago marathons, will attend a disciplinary hearing next week as part of deliberations on what punishment she should face for taking the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.
"We are hoping the hearing will shed light on who is behind this doping scam, and Jeptoo should be able to spill the beans," Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat told AFP.
Kenya's sports bosses have been accused of inaction on the doping issue, which has cast a shadow over the record-breaking and medal-winning achievements of its fabled distance runners.
They have also cast the current crisis as being a result of what they insist are dishonest foreign agents and managers who are "corrupting" Kenyan runners.
"We are in the process of forming the anti-doping commission to hear Jeptoo's case. Since this is a delicate matter, which could decide the fate of the athlete and the country's future, we will allow Jeptoo, her agent and even her own relatives to appear before the panel," Kiplagat said.
Jeptoo, 33, is expected to face a two-year ban and be stripped of her recent titles.
Jeptoo tested positive for EPO, which can massively increase endurance, in an out-of-competition test in Kenya last September.
A test of her "B" sample, conducted at the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Lausanne in December, confirmed the presence of the drug.
"Jeptoo is the highest-profile of the Kenyan athletes to have tested positive for the banned drugs which should send a big alarm to us," Kiplagat said.