Athletics: Embarrassed Kipketer in UK visa fiasco

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The Independent Online
Wilson Boit Kipketer, the Kenyan world 3,000 metres steeplechase champion has withdrawn from this Saturday's County Durham International Cross-Country after failing to renew his visa to enter the United Kingdom.

"It's embarrassing for everyone, the athlete, his management team and even ourselves," the race director, Nigel Gough, said. "Perhaps in the future we will insist on agents faxing a photocopy of their runners' passports showing their visas are up to date."

Gough denied Boit Kipketer had pulled out of the meeting as a result of former Olympic 10,000 metre gold medallist Khalid Skah being given a late entry into the race.

He rebuffed suggestions that Kenyans are reluctant to compete against the Moroccan. Skah controversially won his 1992 title after allegedly using a lapped colleague to pace-make him to victory against another Kenyan, Richard Chelimo.