By Chris Musumba and Philip Orwa
Government will launch committee to Investigate doping cases in the country The Government will name a committee to carry out independent investigation over allegations by ARD German TV that doping is widespread in the country.
Athletics Kenya Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said plans are afoot to launch required investigation on the issue. He said the delay in the investigation was not deliberate but because AK had handed over the matter to the Government, who have the machinery to carry it out effectively.
“It will be an independent committee and we have no idea on who will sit on it. What I know is only one doctor from AK team, Victor Bargoria, will be seconded to the committee.
“It is purely a Government assignment and we will wait for its outcome to know what to do next,” said Kiplagat.
The cost implications involved in carrying out dope tests after every event are immense and have hindered the blanket rollout of the exercise in all athletics competitions.
Kiplagat, a member of the IAAF Council, said it costs about Sh500,000 to carry out tests and send them to South Africa, where the only accredited medical laboratory in the continent is based.
“We are in negotiation with IAAF to open up a new laboratory in Nairobi. IAAF is looking at ways to licence Kemri Laboratories as a certified centre sanctioned to carry such tests. But for the time being, we only have one place in the entire continent, in South Africa,” he said.
After ARD German TV aired the news quoting elite athletes and coaches, IAAF medical director Gabrielle Dolle admitted that Kenya
‘lacks technical pre-conditions for a systematic and effective testing of athletes’ blood samples and therefore doping cannot be ruled out.
This prompted AK to introduce mandatory antidoping campaign in all major races in the country.
“We will carry out tests in all provincial cross country meeting and the main national championships. All marathons must also carry out dope test so as not to allow any athlete to win unfairly,” said Kiplagat.
World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has been concerned with the slow pace of investigation. Wada President John Fahey confirmed need for doping investigations during visit to Kenya in October.
Meanwhile, Champion Joseph Biwot will put his title on the line when he lines up on Sunday for the Great Lakes Safaricom Kisumu City Marathon. Biwot first won the race in 2010 (2:17:14) and successfully retained the title last year in 2:13:41 and walked home Sh200,000 richer.
Benjamin Koech who was second in 2010 event will also be returning for the event that has attracted over 500 athletes. Last year Koech came second after clocking 2:14:13 four minutes apart from what he timed in 2010 when he clocked 2:18:59.
James Karioki who last year came third after clocking 2:14:23 and walked home Sh30, 000 richer will also
come to see if at all he would be defending his slot. Kisii based Irene Mogaka who last year clocked 2:38:00 and walked home with Sh200, 000 after emerging the winner in the women category will also be back to defend her title. Others are Perez Chepkorir and Mercy Jemutai. Prizes will be given up to the tenth finisher.
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