AK: Dopers have nowhere to hide

By Dennis Okeyo: Saturday, January 18th 2020 at 08:30 GMT +3 | Athletics
Jackie Brock-Doyle (left) Executive Director communications IAAF and Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei during a press conference at Kasarani Stadium on Jan 17, 2019. [Jonah Onyango]

Athletics Kenya has promised tough measures in the fight against doping as the federation gears up for 2020 athletics season. 

Kenya remains in the world list of nations on doping watch even as the world prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Just two weeks into the year, two high profile athletes in Alfred Kipketer, the 2014 World under-20 800m champion, and former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang have been suspended by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)  for missing dope tests.

Yesterday, AK boss Jackson Tuwei reaffirmed the federation’s commitment in the fight against the scourge that has sullied the country’s image.

“Our stand on doping is well known, and we are now working closely with Athletics Integrity Unit, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) and the government to fight the menace,” said Tuwei. 

He added: “Athletes should know that with the kind of machinery in the fight against doping, dopers have nowhere to hide and it is either they embrace clean sport or hang their spikes because the anti-doping winds are too strong for those who want to engage in hide and seek game.” 

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According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) rules, athletes are required to submit details of their location and activities for one hour every day, plus overnight accommodation and training information, in case they are needed for out-of-competition testing.

The whereabouts details are filed online in an Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) managed by testing authorities. 

“It’s a shame that some athletes are not able to manage their whereabouts schedule despite AK having taken them through several trainings. Either this is an act of ignorance or a deliberate move to take a short-cut to glory,” said Tuwei.

He warned: “They need to know that the world is currently on alert and they would be lucky to survive a single race without being caught.”

Other top names currently serving bans or suspension over doping violations include Rio 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo testing positive of EPO in 2014.

Sarah Chepchirchir, the 2017 Tokyo Marathon champion, was provisionally suspended by the AIU for using an unnamed prohibited substance.

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