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.
Really, I don't think foreigner coaches or managers are involved. A management has several athletes, and has only to lose when one represented athlete is positive for some drug.
But the fact now in Kenya there are many more road races with good prizes without any antidoping control provoked the proliferation of strange personages not coming from the athletic world (maybe doctors, or pharmacists, or simply cheaters looking at runners because around them there is a real racket of criminals of coasting trade), and these personages can have easy road for cheating athletes without good level of education, for that reason having naive mind and believing in everything some person with more education (the case of doctors or pharmacists) explain them.
This is not a problem of antidoping out or in competition, and is not a technical problem. This is a problem of specific culture and education, regarding the full Kenyan life, not athletics only.
Who has to face this problem is not AK. It's Kenyan Government, making soon a law against people selling not allowed pharmacs and cheating athletes for having advantages.
In the normal kenyan life, these are the same people selling pharmacs already expired, selling not pure and Dangerous water in fake bottles with fake labels, selling every type of damageous support for the normal life of normal people, and cheating ingenuous persons for earning money in illegal way.
Western Countries need to understand that poor African people have an important "motor" for living, that is their "hope in a better future". They are psychologically very weak about this issue, believing in everything somebody can tell them, able to give more hope.
I'm not surprise if many kenyan runners, of medium and low level, and without education, can be positive for some doping, and of course I don't consider this as "rampant" in Kenya, where we have may be 5000 runners.
But the fact a top athlete as Rita can be in the list makes me think there is something that Kenya Govn. has to face immediately.
I'm sure NOBODY of these athletes NEVER asked for something illegal, for increasing their shape, or their ability to compete. I know too well the mentality of the best athletes, such as I know the mentality of some "weak" athlete, and Always, when I heard somebody asking for some help (not illegal...) "such as in Europe or US", the request came from weak athletes. NEVER I heard one of kenyan top athletes asking for some supplement, while this is one of the first requests from European and American athletes.
But the fact Rita is involved means that the action of criminals around runners is growing, and the effect becomes worse and worse.
In this bad picture, that creates bad image on all kenyan runners, I think the efforts of Kenyan Government against DOPERS must be one of the priorities, more than the efforts of AK against DOPED.
One further consideration : the Majors gave a budget for allowing out of competition tests in Kenya and Ethiopia, and all the best athletes are now tested, thank to the money big Marathons used for this problem. So, people can finish to think that kenyan and ethiopian athletes are protected : if Rita, winner of the last 4 Majors and of the Jackpot, and at the moment best image for Women in the Marathon World, is busted for doping, ALL the bests (from Kimetto to Wilson Kipsang, from Geoffrey Mutai to Emmanuel Mutai, from Edna Kiplagat to Mary Keitany, from Kenenisa Bekele to Tsegaye Kebede, from Tiki Gelana to Tirunesh Dibaba, etc...) are in this plan and are controlled with continuity. This means that people can finish to think that controls don't work, when it's possible to catch the number ones in the World in almost all the disciplines in athletics, from sprint to throws to jumps (and, of course, to middle and long distances).