It is time Athletics Kenya office stepped aside, says Former world marathon champion Wakiihuri

By FEVERPITCH REPORTER: Tuesday, January 6th 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Former world Marathoner Douglas Wakiihuri register his number during the official commissioning of 3rd GDC Half Marathon which is set for September 21st 2014 PHOTO:BONIFACE THUKU

Former world marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri has said Athletics Kenya (AK) officials need to step down to enable a clean up of the federation in the wake of doping scandals involving local athletes.

Wakiihuri, who won gold for Kenya at the 1987 World Championships, said the few athletes caught in doping is just the tip of the iceberg and the bigger portion could soon be unearthed.

"AK must be ready to face the consequences after failing to tame the doping vice. The athletes caught doping this year is the beginning, more will come up," said Wakiihuri.

"We must clean our house ahead of upcoming events," he added.

With the plans to host the 2017 World Championships, Wakiihuri said AK needs to put its house in order if it wants to attract sponsors.

"I won first gold medal for Kenya in marathon in 1987 and many more, as the national anthem was sung on the podium and our national flag rose to glorify Kenya, I will protect it. Our federation is doing the wrong thing to let all that I have worked for so hard to achieve just go down the drain," he added.

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"The Government, AK and all stakeholders need to work together and stop fighting. The AK chairman and his people need to resign. They have not been athletes to know how painful it is to be exploited by other people. That is why it is hard for them to realise the importance of cleaning the house and have our athletes run clean," said Wakiihuri.

Wakiihuri, who is the coach to first Lady Margaret Kenyatta and her mission to start the First Lady Marathon (in March), said it will be hard to pull the First Lady from athletics, which she is using in her Beyond Zero campaign.

He posed: "How can she get out now that athletics is tarnished with doping. She is the patron of the 2017 World Youth Championships. Will she lead a campaign with the sports embedded in doping scandals?"

"Those caught in the doping saga in Russia, Jamaica and IAAF have resigned, why is Kenyan officials still stuck in office?" asked Wakiihuri.

A campaign led by AK vice chairman Paul Mutwii to discuss the conduct of AK President Isaiah Kiplagat in an SGM was halted by a court order that recommended arbitration. However, Wakiihuri said, Kiplagat should not wait to be kicked out but use the chance to clean the house.

Wakiihuri said AK should come up with a rehabilitation centre to accommodate and embrace athletes caught doping to make them understand the importance of running clean.


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