AK, Adak dismiss latest doping claims on Kenya

By Kimathi Kamau: Thursday, September 26th 2019 at 01:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
A view of the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships on September 25, 2019 [Courtesy]

The damning report by German state television, ZDF of allegations of doping in Kenya’s team to the Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships has hit headwinds even before formal investigations commence.

Athletics Kenya (AK) dismissed the allegations by directing the German broadcasters to bring forward the names of those athletes they claimed were injected with EPO and are members of Kenyan contingent to the World Championships that starts tomorrow in Doha, Qatar. 

AK also noted the stamp used in the letter purported to originate from AK employee and bearing the federation’s letterhead was forged.

“IAAF issued strict instructions early this year on the athletes’ qualifications to the World Championship in Doha. All the athletes selected for the World Championship met all the conditions and we in Athletics Kenya received and certified all the results as forwarded to us by Anti-Doping Association of Kenya (Adak) the body responsible for carrying out all the tests,” read a  statement signed by AK President Jackson Tuwei.

The statement continued: “It will be noted that the word Athletics is misspelt, and the letter ‘L” is missing. The letter is consequently a forgery — a very poor attempt indeed to forge the rubber stamp of Athletics Kenya. This shows the length to which these malicious persons will go in their attempt to tarnish the Kenya Athletics.”

Adak responds

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Adak chief executive, Japhter Rugut said: “Once again, we cannot authenticate whether this is true or not, but it would be unfortunate if such incidences are taking place especially in the wake of heightened effort to promote clean sport in Kenya.

“We wish to appeal to you (ZDF) to share with us the identities, footage or any other evidentiary material to support this claim so that the culprits can be dealt with in line with the laid down procedures.”

Performance-enhancing blood-booster

In what is becoming a precursor for Kenya team before the start of recent track and field international tournaments, ZDF dropped the bombshell on Sunday with footage that purports to show a top male and female athlete being injected with the performance-enhancing blood-booster EPO in Eldoret.

A doctor whose identity was hidden further alleged that Kenyan athletes and officials have found a way to sidestep testing methods.

However, the latest lurid doping bombshell claims that follow in the footsteps of almost similar reports targeting Kenyan athletes ahead of Rio 2016 Olympics from another German television outlet, ARD and London 2017 by ZDF, appear to be founded on quicksand.

IAAF president, Sebastian Coe confirmed in Doha that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is following up on the damaging ZDF reports that once again, cast aspersions on the country’s runners on the eve of the start of Doha 2019 Worlds.

“I know the AIU is following up on some accusations that have been made in the German media. I’m sure they will report back as soon as they’ve established the facts to the IAAF,” Coe declared.

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