David Okeyo is one of three officials to have failed to have an extension to their provisional suspension lifted ©Getty Images

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council member David Okeyo, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat and former treasurer Joseph Kinyua have failed in their attempt to overturn their respective extensions to their 180-day provisional suspensions, it has been announced.

The trio were all suspended in November by the IAAF Ethics Board following allegations that they had tried to suppress positive doping tests of Kenyan athletes and attempted to extort money from those who had failed tests.

They were also alleged to have siphoned off funds from a sponsorship deal between the National Federation and the American sportswear giant Nike.

Kiplagat has been accused of accepting two motor vehicles from the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) when Doha successfully bid to host the 2019 World Championships.

Doha successfully overcame Eugene and Barcelona to be awarded the Championships by the IAAF Council last November.

They have denied the allegations and challenged a move to extend their provisional suspensions for a further 180 days, with the independent investigator having informed the Ethics Board that more time was required to complete the investigation.

Okeyo and Kiplagat had both claimed that they had received “damaging media publicity” as a result of the original and extended suspensions, with the latter stating his health had also been affected.

The three men alleged that the investigator had “misdirected himself as to the evidentiary burden of proof” and stated their belief that it could indicate “predetermination of the outcome of the investigation”.

Isaiah Kiplagat (right) has claimed the suspension has affected his health ©Getty Images
Isaiah Kiplagat (right) has claimed the suspension has affected his health ©Getty Images

The panel, containing chairman Michael Beloff, Akira Kawamura and Thomas Murray, have dismissed their challenge to have the provisional suspension lifted.

“First, it hopes that the Investigator will take note of the need to conclude his investigation as soon as can properly be achieved bearing in mind the various stresses that suspension creates for the three individuals,” the panel’s decision read.

“Second, it naturally assumes, as the investigator explained in his first letter to the three (“[…] the investigations will be conducted objectively, will be fair and will be conducted in compliance with the Rules of Natural Justice”) that before he concludes his investigation he will give a full opportunity to each of them to present their defences, if he deems it necessary face to face.

“The three Appellants each say that they have not been contacted by the investigator since submitting their responses to the allegations in January 2016.

“How the investigator conducts his investigation is not a matter with which the Panel can interfere (see Rule 13(7)-(9)) but the Panel presumes that the investigator has decided – which would be entirely reasonable – to ascertain what, if any, support there is for the prima facie case before putting any provisional conclusion, together with any evidence to support it, to Mr Kinyua, Mr Kiplagat and Mr Okeyo.

“Third, the fact that the Panel has confirmed the Chairman’s extension of the suspension for a further 180 days is not to be taken as an indication that all that time will be required before a report is produced and considered as required by the rules (Rule 13(9)); it may but equally it may not.”

Sharad Rao is currently investigating the allegations against the officials ©Getty Images
Sharad Rao is currently investigating the allegations against the officials ©Getty Images

The investigation into the accusations against the three officials is being conducted by Sharad Rao, a former Director of Public Prosecutions in Kenya and the current chairman of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.

Rao is also a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and of the Code of Conduct Commission of the International Cricket Council.

Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangi is also being investigated by Rao after he was suspended by the IAAF Ethics Board in February.

He was accused of asking for money to reduce the doping bans of two athletes who failed drugs tests.

Mwangi has denied the claims.