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Don’t feign ignorance of anti-doping rules

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | July 25th 2020

Another high profile athlete is facing sanctions from Athletics Integrity Unit for missing anti-doping tests which is a violation of rules. It beggars belief that in this day and age and given their elite status, some Kenyan athletes are missing these anti-doping tests.

The rules are very clear that an athlete listed in the testing pool can have their agent or another representative submit their whereabouts information if they wish to, but ultimately they are responsible for their whereabouts.

As a result, they cannot avoid responsibility by blaming their representative for filing inaccurate information about their whereabouts or for not updating their whereabouts if they were not at the location specified by them during the 60-minute time-slot.

Accurate whereabouts information is crucial to ensure efficiency of the anti-doping programmes, which are designed to protect the integrity of sport and to protect clean athletes.

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya is on record, through seminars, teaching athletes on how to avoid running afoul of these rules.

Athletics is a profession like any other and therefore demand that anyone involved know the rules of the game. Providing accurate whereabouts information and availing oneself at the indicated time and place is one of the rules. Providing excuses that one was caught up in a traffic jam or running some errand does not wash. It only heightens suspicion.

Presence of prohibited substances in athletes’ samples may be argued for days on end on how it ended up in the blood system. However, missing appointments is utterly inexcusable.

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