Renato Canova wrote:
I'm shocked by this bad news. I was Rita's coach from her beginning, when she was in Italy (1998), 17 only, starting with short distances. She came Italy together with Jonah Koech, the first Kenyan I coached, now living in Iowa, and was a very Young and gracious girl.
When I put her in the first HM, everybody was skeptic about her possibility of success, since her way of running was not the best for long distances, and she was maybe 5-6 kg more heavy than today. She ran 1:12:32, and this showed mental and organical attitudes for long distances.
In 2004, we planned to run her first Marathon at the end of winter season. She went Stockholm at the beginning of June, and won with 2:35:14 with very little training.
Starting the real preparation for Marathon at the end of July, after her first experience, she won Milan in 2:28:11, becoming, also mentally, Marathon runner full time.
We worked together till the end of 2006. She went, through different experiences, till the victory in Boston in 2006 with 2:23:38, when showed her unbelievable mental resistance running the last 12.2 km with the best fourth time, men included (nobody of the first 10 men ran faster than her after 30 km).
She was used to stay in Italy in my house, and the person I know is a nice girl, with good moral principles and big respect for other people (never she spoke in bad way of somebody else), principles given by her parents in her small village near Moi Bridge.
After winning Boston (she prepared in Iten in a camp I created using my personal money, without the intervention of any managements, for helping new athletes and putting together athletes already with me in training before, but living in different villages), her husband decided they were ready for training at home in Mosoriot, and we started to have problems to understand exactly the training situation. For that reason, Rita (with me till 2008, but only more following programs) was no more able to improve (something happening with many kenyan women, when their husband decide to be their coach, with the presumption to know what they don't know).
She had a baby in 2009, but was able to come back in 2011 running in 2:25 at the end of the season in Frankfurt.
After that time, she had several personal problems, and found the solution of many of them thank to Claudio Berardelli and Federico Rosa.
I know Claudio very well, and absolutely don't think possible he is involved in any illegal action in training.
However, also if my position that doping at top level, with the best African runners, doesn't give any advantage, compared with the best possible training, doesn't change, I have to admit that the situation in Kenya during the last 5-6 years changed.