In the recent years, the athletics world has faced numerous doping challenges, with 2016 being the worst year especially for Kenya.
In the new set of regulations passed at the year’s IAAF special congress in Monaco, elite runners will have to be cleared by the IAAF-sanctioned doctors before seeking treatment abroad.
This being implementation year for the IAAF member countries, Kenya is still under watch over doping. In this regard, Athletics Kenya have worked on an action plan with their international body to deal with the utmost importance and priority in order to address the doping epidemic in the country.
In the new measures, IAAF in conjunction with Athletics Kenya have identified six doctors dubbed ‘Kenyan Doctors Network’ (KDN) who will have the responsibility of administering treatment to the already selected elite athletes in the programme.
“These are vetted, trusted and skilled Kenya doctors and their responsibility is to take care of our top-level runners and limit bad medical practices and doping promotion by some Kenyan health professionals,” said Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei in a press conference yesterday at their Riadha House headquarters.
Tuwei added: “AK have also prepared a list of all the top athletes totalling 109 who should benefit from this medical network, we have also drafted regulatory grounds making it mandatory for these elite athletes to go through, and failure to comply will result in the athlete not representing Kenya in the international competition.
“In this regard, we are inviting all these athletes for a briefing at Pearl Hotel in Eldoret on January 16, 2017. And the new regulations take effect from January 17, 2017 and will be fully operational from January 23, 2017.”
Tuwei was quick to clarify on the possibility friction with some athletes who have their personal doctors abroad.
“In case an athlete prefers to get treatment outside the country as is the norm for some runners, they will have to seek clearance from KDN doctors here in Kenya and get treatment from only sanctioned doctors abroad. This new development is a worldwide programme,” Tuwei clarified.
The six doctors earmarked for the programme are Victor Bargoria, Fedrick Kipkorir Kirui, Wycliffe Kosgei, Castro Mugala and Mwithia Ndundo.
At last December’s AK gala award ceremony, which was attended by Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, the world athletics governing body’s vice-president and Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) President said: “We want clean sport and that’s why we must act. We are putting in place measures to protect the sport and from next year, all the elite runners will have to be treated by doctors sanctioned by IAAF. And athletes must follow these new rules.”