Foreign Agents Blamed In Kenya Doping Report

A probe into allegations of widespread doping in Kenya sports has blamed lack of education, ignorance, and manipulation by foreign agents as the main reasons behind the serious incidences of drug use by Kenyan athletes.

The report says all sports bodies in Kenya are aware of anti-doping policies as propagated by the respective international federations and WADA, but none of them have elaborate programs targeting education and testing.

The government-appointed commission however did not uncover evidence of doping among its record-breaking distance runners. The commission completed its work earlier this month and has presented its findings to the Kenyan sports minister, Hassan Wario. The report said foreign agents have brought an upsurge in cases of athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, including the blood-booster EPO.

The head of the taskforce, Professor Moni Wekesa, said we have left our athletes in the hands of foreigners and added that Athletics Kenya (AK) only organizes the national events, including the African games and Olympics and have given the foreign agents the free hand to manage the athletes in the Diamond League and other international competitions. Wekesa added these are the people who have the greater control on what to give the athletes and said any drugs which we found to have been used by the athletes was only through the influence of the foreign agents and remarked that these are the very sophisticated drugs only the agents know how to administer. The country had every reason to worry about the surge in drug use, according to Wekesa. Out of the total of 37 athletes suspended in the last two decades, 17 tested positive between January 2012 and June 2013. Wekesa added the report, yet to be made public, calls for all national sports associations to be mandated to comply with the policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Running great Kipchoge Keino, Kenya’s National Olympic Committee chief, said it is important that doping in Kenya should be stopped to ensure that no Kenyan athlete of a similar caliber to Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell is lured into using performance enhancing drugs. Keino added we need to educate our athletes. We need to sit down together and give them seminars so they can understand and said we have to show them in practical terms that this is not the right way.

According to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), eight Kenyans have been suspended in 2012. All the blood samples taken in Nairobi are flown to Johannesburg, Barcelona, or Paris for tests because the country does not have a single IAAF-certified drugs testing lab.

Before London Olympic Games, the German national television broadcaster ARD aired allegations that doping is widespread in Kenya. Initially, Kenyan officials were furious but they soon started to acknowledge the problem. Colm O’Connell, coach to Kenya’s Olympic champion and 800 meters world record holder David Rudisha, said we are in a very hazy situation about this whole drug situation with recent developments. O’Connell added that the Kenyan federation has to get on top of doping issues to maintain its credibility.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Foreign Agents Blamed In Kenya Doping Report