April 11, 2015
On Friday, LetsRun.com featured an article from Kenya on 2014 Boston Marathon runner-up Wilson Chebet. In the article, Chebet talked confidently about his prospects for a win in 2015 as the article quoted Chebet as saying, “I’m going to win the race; I assure you that this is my title and am going to win it.”
The article also quoted Chebet saying that he thought the 2014 winner in Boston, Meb Keflezighi, was a rabbit. We featured that aspect of the article as our Quote of the Day on Friday:
“I did not see Meb until we were all on a flat course. For me I thought he was a pacesetter but later learned that he was competing and beating him with the distance he had was too big for me.”
“I lost the title last year to an Eritrean turned American Meb (Keflezighi) but this year, I want to try my best in one of Majors.”
– 2014 Boston Marathon runner-up Wilson Chebet
Please ignore everything you read on the matter. Why? Because according to Chebet and his management team, the interview between the reporter and Chebet never occurred.
This afternoon we were CC’d on an email from Chebet’s management team which was addressed to Capital.FM – a Kenyan website which published the article as did allafrica.com – asking for a formal apology for falsely quoting Chebet when no interview between the author and Chebet occurred. Here is the email:
Dear Madam / Sir,
This communication is being conducted on behalf of Mr. Wilson Chebet, on whom Mr. Emmanuel Sabuni has reported on 8 APR 2015 –http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/
Mr. Chebet in strongest possible terms disputes following quotes:
“I’m going to win the race; I assure you that this is my title and am going to win it. Though it is challenging, am hoping that everything will go on well. Many athletes are focusing on the race and am preparing very well,” he promised in his home in Eldoret.
“I did not see Meb until we were all on a flat course. For me I thought he was a pacesetter but later learned that he was competing and beating him with the distance he had was too big for me,” said Chebet.
“I lost the title last year to an Eritrean turned American Meb (Keflezighi) but this year, I want to try my best in one of Majors,” Kwambai added.
“I’m going to try the jackpot this season and even the most coveted and moneyed races in the world. My body is responding well and I pray that when it comes that day, I will be okay,” he assured.
Facts, as stated by Mr. Chebet:
– Mr. Sabuni contacted Mr. Chebet to arrange an interview. Interview was never conducted.
– Mr. Chebet simply informed Mr. Sabuni that he is to compete in 2015 Boston Marathon.
– Upon publication of said article, Mr. Chebet was alerted and he did contact Mr. Sabuni to express his concern and dissatisfaction with the fact that something that was simply never said, on-nor-off-the-record, somehow got published by your house. Mr. Sabuni informed Mr. Chebet that “nothing bad was published” and that “he believes in him, so he wants him to do well and has published in that spirit.”
Please consider issuing an apology to Mr. Chebet, as ethical lines were crossed by the member of your team.
In addition and due to global nature of our sport, your story got to one of leading US websites, landing as a Quote of the Day –https://www.letsrun.com/
For Mr. Chebet’s stance on tactical mistake he did make in 2014 Boston Marathon and for much more information, please see –http://www.jhextramile.com/an-
Looking forward to your follow up on this sensitive matter and expecting formal apology Mr. Chebet deserves.
Manager, Special Projects
for International Athletics Consultancy
Quick Analysis By LetsRun.com:
We’re thankful for Chebet’s management team for setting the record straight. While the ethics for the press in Kenya seem to be more relaxed than in America (In the past, we had to contact Kenyan websites that were simply republishing entire LetsRun.com articles (versus doing what much of the US press does which is retyping them in their own words with only tiny attribution)), made-up quotes aren’t acceptable in any country.
In the grand scheme of things, we almost wish the quotes were true. Boxing has long generated interest by having fighters make outlandish remarks about each other. Chebet’s quotes certainly got us and fans buzzing about 2015 Boston as the messageboard topic related to the article has 80 posts on it as of 4:30 pm ET today: 2014 Boston runner-up on Meb: “I thought he was a pacesetter..I lost the title last year to an Eritrean turned American”.
We will update this article if Capital.FM or the author repsond to Chebet’s management team.