Three-time World 1,500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop has for the first time spoken up on doping, being an alcoholic, failed marriage and depression.
Asbel, who is now serving a four-year ban for a doping offense, in an interview with Grace Msalame on Unscripted said, doping accusations drove him to alcoholism and his wife left him.
My athletics career and reputation was at stake and I was considering venturing into coaching. I wasn’t myself and I ended up doing crazy and abnormal things. My wife didn’t know where I had been after I had been accused of doping. I avoided going to the house because I was trying to figure out the truth but in vain,’ he told Msalame.
When this happened I developed stress and became a drunkard. My own wife didn’t understand what was happening. It affected my marriage and my wife left.
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2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1,500m champion also narrated how his friends and fellow athletes deserted him after the scandal.
All the people I had housed left me and my rivals openly ridiculed me saying they just realised I had been beating them in races through doping. There was lack of trust and it can get worse when it comes from people who are close,’ he said.
When things are going well, friends are many but when you go through turbulence, you will be able to identify mockers and those who are not for you.
Asbel revealed only his parents and his boss Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai stood by him.
My parents and IG saved me from total collapse and I am grateful to them. I am also lucky to have got another wife who is kind and understanding.
Using the late South African president Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in jail as an example, Abel Kiprop said,
Whenever you are hit by such storms, there is need to persevere and to stand on your feet for the truth, no matter what.
The athlete who will resume competition in February 2022 after serving the sentence has always been at the forefront in the anti-doping campaign.
Speaking about doping, he said he was framed.
Framing people brings down careers, reputations, the name of a country and the sport as a whole,’ he said.
To be honest, the people who dope need to be shamed and embarrassed but it was a double challenge for me since I was innocent. Doping is something I would not do. I even advocated for jail terms for people who go into doping.
He is hoping to come back stronger and prove his innocence.
As part of my legacy, I would love to prove to the world that I didn’t do this no matter how long it takes because truth and transparency are bigger than the shame of conspiracy,’ he explained.
Lessons he learnt from the whole experience he said,
I learnt that whenever you are hit by a storm, you need to stay firm and stand your ground especially when you know you are right. I have come to learn that life is a curve and not a straight line
Below is the video