Isaiah Kiplagat has died at the age of 72 ©Getty Images

Isaiah Kiplagat, who was suspended last year as Athletics Kenya’s President amid reports that he and two other officials had tried to suppress positive doping tests of Kenyan athletes and attempted to extort money from those who had failed tests, has died at the age of 72.

Kiplagat, who had been treated for colon cancer since 2010, was a long-time International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council member.

He was one of the longest-serving sports administrators in the country, having worked in various capacities at Athletics Kenya for the last four decades.

He took over as leader of the national governing body in 1992, at which point it was known as the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA), and transformed it from a non-profit-making entity to the richest federation in the country.

However, he was suspended in November along with IAAF Council member David Okeyo and former Athletics Kenya treasurer Joseph Kinyua following an investigation by the IAAF Ethics Board into allegations of embezzlement and extortion.

As well as the aforementioned allegations, the trio were alleged to have siphoned off funds from a sponsorship deal between the National Federation and the American sportswear giant Nike.

Kinyua paid tribute to Kiplagat, telling Daily Nation: "I worked with him for 16 years after [he hand-picked] me from Kenya Science. 

"We took over KAAA with a 2 million Kenyan Shilling (£15,000/$19,700/€17,500) debt to where it is now."

Kiplagat had also been accused of accepting two motor vehicles from the Qatar Athletics Federation when Doha successfully bid to host the 2019 World Championships.

Doha overcame Eugene and Barcelona to be awarded the Championships by the IAAF Council in November 2014. 

Isaiah Kiplagat (left) was a long-time IAAF Council member ©Getty Images
Isaiah Kiplagat (left) was a long-time IAAF Council member ©Getty Images

They have denied the allegations and unsuccessfully 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".

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.