AGENT JAILED for inhumane treatment of Kenyan client athletes

STRASBOURG, March 15, 2006 - A French athletics manager who housed 15 Kenyan track stars in a tiny house while siphoning off their winnings was jailed Wednesday after being found guilty of inhumane treatment.
Jean Conrath was given a three-month prison sentence and fined 8,000 euro ($A13,069) by the Strasbourg criminal court, which heard shocking evidence of mistreatment during the trial.
Conrath claimed that the athletes’ 55 square-metre living quarters in Vendhenheim, was a paradise'' for athletes he said were more used to just four boards and a metal sheet.’’
But the court saw if differently after hearing how the athletes were denied access to fresh meat, fruit and vegetables while being charged 200 euros each just for the privilege of access to a mattress. The house had neither heating nor a shower room.
The athletes took part in races and marathons in France and Conrath collected 15 percent of their winnings but according to his lawyer, Francois Ruhlmann, he lost 15,000 euros last autumn because only one athlete, Evans Cheruyiot, won any races.
The athletes plight was discovered by Vendenheim mayor Claude Bronner in November. They were put up in hotels and eventually repatriated to Kenya in December.
Since then, the Kenyan Athletics Federation has struck off 19 of 31 foreign agents, including Conrath.
Prosecutor Virginie Girard had asked for a sentence of four to five months and a 15,000 euro fine. Ruhlmann said Conrath would appeal.