Latest development is blow to Kenya in the fight against drugs use

By Denis Okeyo: Saturday, July 28th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Men's 100meters race during the Athletics Kenya National Trials Championship at Kasarani Stadium on Thursday June 21, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

It’s seems cheating in athletics is not about to end in Kenya soon, as the country fights to be removed from IAAF watch list.

Another high profile athlete who has dominated continental arena has been caught in the latest doping scandal which has dogged Kenya in the past few years.

The runner was found to have cheated from the sample collected at Commonwealth Games, in Australia early in the year.

The new scandal comes as Asbel Kiprop who has been implicated in the doping vice is putting up a spirited fight with the independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to prove his innocence by requesting a DNA test to show there are no drugs in his system.

While addressing the Nigeria-bound team on Thursday, Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei spoke at length on doping issues and the danger of being on IAAF watch list.

“Race organisers in the world are starting to reduce the number of Kenyan participants in their athletics meetings and if you (athletes) continue with is trend, the country risks being banned,” Tuwei said.

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“We can’t continue like this, what about your life, your health, why do you want to shorten your career and life.

He added: “This is very disturbing and we feel affected as a country.

“Another problem affecting runners is the whereabouts, registered testing pool by IAAF and ADAK you shouldn’t give excuses about missing” 

The runner will likely face sanctions  — and  join a growing list of cheaters that are soiling Kenyan’s reputation as middle and long distance running powerhouse. Rita Jeptoo, who has been the highlight of Kenya’s doping menace, won the Boston Marathon three times, setting the course record (2:18:57) before testing positive of EPO in 2014.

Other Kenyans brought down by doping is Olympic Champion Jemima Sumgong who was banned for four years after her defence of taking EPO for an ectopic pregnancy was rejected by Kenya Sports Dispute Tribunal.

Sumgong won the Olympic marathon gold in 2016 in Rio, Brazil.

Others include Joyce Zakari and Francisca Koki who were busted at 2015 Beijing’s World Championships after traces of masking agent furosemide were found during the in-competition-testing.

Two-time World Cross Country champion Emily Chebet is  also serving a four-year ban after testing positive for the diuretic and masking agent furosemide.

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