AK vows to act on agents of doping scandal

By Erick Ochieng'

NAIROBI, KENYA: Athletics Kenya (AK) has taken its fight against doping a notch higher by warning international agents, doctors, coaches and journalists without work permit and a nod from the country’s athletics federation to stay away.

AK said it has established that some of these international experts are misleading athletes to do things out of the norm for their personal gain, hence the need to be regulated.

AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat confirmed that some of the work done by the so-called international experts are skewed to attract astronomical prizes when they sell them back to their countries.

The chairman said AK will regulate those coming to offer various services to the Kenyan athletes, stating it is impossible for their Kenyan counterparts to go abroad for similar services.

The federation also has a plan for self-evaluation which has seen the athletics body having intention to import anti-doping facilities that will be used to vet athletes in all the national championships and series beginning next year.

Winning fairly

“The aim here is to establish that all our athletes are clean and are winning contests fairly, and nobody will be allowed to conduct their own anti-doping activities on the athletes,” said Kiplagat.

AK said it has plans to educate non-elite and elite athletes on doping issues that are bound to affect their lives during their career.

Doping will be among the topics the federation will tackle at the AK national seminar in Eldoret next month.

The federation intends to bring pundits to discuss the topic, which is said to be sensitive and crucial.

Doping awareness

Recently, World Anti-doping Agency (Wada) president John Fahey, visited Kenya and Africa to drum up support for doping awareness among elite and budding athletes in various disciplines.

A German national broadcaster ARD has run several stories claiming widespread doping abuse among Kenyan athletes.

The first report was run in May and the second during the Olympic Games in August in which Mathew Kisorio was interviewed at length confessing to having been led to abuse drugs.

AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat and National Olympic Committee of Kenya Chairman Kipchoge Keino both addressed a press conference in which they said investigations would be launched to go the root of the matter.

Kiplagat, while denying knowledge of the ARD  claims, said Athletics Kenya would engage the relevant arm of the Government to help in investigating the matter.

AK has not disclosed what became of those investigations, but Kiplagat has issued many threats to foreigners he says are misleading gullible Kenyan athletes.

Meanwhile, Kenya Commercial Bank CEO Martin Oduor Otieno has requested AK to give the bank a chance to offer financial advice and investments services to the athletes during the seminar.