Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum, who won the London Marathon in impressive fashion, is currently facing allegations of breaching a sportswear contract. According to Spanish magazine Corredor, Kiptum signed a contract with Chinese brand Qiaodon worth over Sh15 million after achieving the third-best mark of all time (2:01:53) at the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon in 2022.

The contract reportedly stipulated that the Chinese brand would dress and equip Kiptum, which he agreed to and signed on January 15, 2023, through his representative, Marc Corstjens. The Chinese brand started promoting the partnership with Kiptum and even traveled to Kenya to meet with the athlete. While in Kenya, they met with representatives of Kenyan Athletics to discuss the future. Kiptum reportedly signed the contract, received payment, and began using the Chinese brand’s materials while preparing for the London Marathon on April 23, 2023.

However, two days before traveling to London, Kiptum disappeared, and no one knew his whereabouts. The Qiaodan delegation gave up and traveled to London, only to find that Kiptum appeared in Nike’s official clothing at the marathon’s presentation, despite his previous agreement with Qiaodon. This move has caused controversy, and Qiaodan is said to be considering legal action against Kiptum.

Despite the controversy, Kiptum won the London Marathon and set a new course record with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, 25 seconds, the second-fastest time in history over the distance, and just 16 seconds off the world record set by Eliud Kipchoge.