Kenya marathon star Kipsang held for breaking virus curfew

Kipsang, who claimed the world record during the 2013 Berlin marathon, is a police officer who is currently under provisional suspension.

Former London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang was arrested after breaking nighttime curfew in Western Iten. (File photo).   -  Reuters

Kenya’s former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang spent the night in jail after being arrested drinking and playing pool with a large group after a nighttime curfew, police said Friday.

Kipsang, who claimed the world record during the 2013 Berlin marathon, is a police officer who is currently under provisional suspension from the World Integrity Anti-Doping Unit (AIU).

He pleaded guilty in a court on Friday and was released on bail of 5,000 shillings ($47, 43 euros).

“We arrested Kipsang and nine others, including one of the administrators of the county at the Keelu Resort club drinking and playing pool at 10pm,” Iten county police commander John Mwinzi told AFP.

Western Iten attracts thousands of elite Kenyan and foreign athletes who flock into the small town, located at 2,400m above sea level, for altitude training.

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“This is a very serious offence. These people are respected and they are supposed to lead by example and not breaking the government orders.”

Kenya has imposed a 7pm-5am curfew in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Mwinzi has also ordered the arrest of twelve athletes, including two foreigners found training in a group on Monday for disobeying directives on social distance.