As the country continues to come to terms with the shocking and disturbing murder of young and promising athlete Agnes Tirop who is said to have been murdered by her spouse, a former world athletics champion and marathon great, Catherine Ndereba, has now come out to make statements that are expected to raise eyebrows across the sporting world. This is also likely to lead to speculation over woes that men who are married to popular sportswomen probably undergo silently.
Apart from being a world famous athlete, Catherine Ndereba is also known for her admirable and noble marriage to Antony Maina. The couple has grown into one of the most respected and admired unions in the athletics world. They have never been plagued by the usual scandals that most high profile sporting couples regularly experience. However, in a recent piece by The Standard Newspaper, Ndereba issues a scathing assessment on spouses of female athletes.
Noticeably, not once is she quoted distancing her husband from the harsh criticism.
Catherine Ndereba, a four-time Boston Marathon winner, claims most women athletes have been thrown into depression as a result of toxic relationships with “opportunistic” lovers.
“So many athletes are ailing from the inside. The recent cases are just the tip of the iceberg. People are hurting from mental health-related issues.
“Some of them get into marriages very early to people who purport to be coaches but in reality, they are just opportunists,” says Ndereba, a two-time former world champion (2003 and 2007).
She called for financial literacy among sportsmen and women.
The problem, according to Ndereba, is a plan by some greedy coaches who get married to some of these athletes to “secure their future”.
“In some parts of this country, they say that when you marry a female athlete you are married to a Prado. The majority of men are opportunists,” she says.
While no where is Ndereba quoted casting aspersions on her own husband, she nevertheless equally isn’t quoted by the piece absolving Antony.
“Some of the men are very smart. They can tell an athlete with a bright future. So they will marry these girls at an early age knowing well that this is a future gold mine.” Once they start living together, Ndereba says, these husbands take full control of the athletes, including registering her property in his name.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist says most of these athletes plunge into marital problems when the money starts trickling in.
She, however, was quoted as saying that such deaths can only be arrested by tackling mental health-related challenges and early marriage among athletes.
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