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Kenya's Rotich in 800m heats after coach sent home and IOC probing

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Kenya‘s Ferguson Rotich qualified for the semi-finals of the Olympic 800-metre race on Friday, a day after an investigation was opened into his coach submitting a doping sample in his name.

Rotich clocked 1 minute 46.00 seconds in his heat and refused to talk afterwards in the mixed zone, telling only a Kenyan journalist who asked how he was doing, "I am trying."

Rotich was running the day after the Kenyan Olympic Committee sent his coach John Anzrah home after being informed by drug testing officials that Anzrah had been caught providing a sample and signed in the runners‘ name.

The International Olympic Committee said it "has immediately created a Disciplinary Commission to look into the matter with regard to the coach and the athlete concerned."

The news came a few days after Kenya‘s athletics team leader Michael Rotich was sent home and reportedly arrested after being caught on hidden camera by undercover reporters as offering to inform athletes about upcoming doping tests for money.

More than 40 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests since 2011, and Kenyan athletes have been heavily tested in the run-up to the Rio Games.

Kenyan superstar David Rudisha, the multiple world and 2012 Olympic champion, whose world record run of 1:40.91 was one of the highlights of the London 2012 Games, led the heats in 1:45.09.

"It was good. It was just cruising to qualify for semis tomorrow, which is main part of the competition as you have to secure your place in the final," Rudisha said.

"I‘m in good form, there‘s no doubt about that ... almost like in my good days between 2010-12," he said, having overcome a difficult period which also saw him miss the 2013 worlds in Moscow with injury.

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