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Anxiety after doping bans but AK says no Kenyan athlete is involved so far

Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo wins a marathon race in Germany. Kiplimo has been banned for doping. [PHOTO: COURTESY] 8KM women battle during Athletics Kenya Defence Forces(AKDF) 2013 championship at Thika Barracks on Saturday 19/01/13.PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO

Fear has gripped the Kenyan athletics landscape one day after IAAF announced that 32 more adverse findings were established from Helsinki (2005) and Osaka (2007) World Championships.

The disclosures from the IAAF’s re-testing has come barely nine days ahead of the World Athletics Championship that starts in Beijing, China, on August 22, heightening anxiety about the future of athletes who might have been named in the squads for the global competition.

Athletics Kenya CEO Isaac Mwangi said they have not received names of any Kenyan athlete. IAAF cannot name the athletes for legal reasons. “We have not received notification. The IAAF has not notified us as a federation if any of our athletes are affected, and we can thus assume for now that none of our athletes are affected,” he told FeverPitch.

Benjamin Limo, who won 5,000m gold medal at the World Championships in 2005, said the situation is tricky especially for those who have been selected to compete at the World Championships in Beijing.

“I was tested three times out of competition before I left for Helsinki (in 2005) then one on arrival when I arrived at the competition venue. I remember some athletes were caught while we were in the Athletes’ Village,” said Limo.

Re-testing after 10 years would be tricky for IAAF, especially for purposes of medal re-allocation,” said Limo. In 2007 in Osaka, Kenya finished second on the medal table behind USA with five gold, three silver and five bronze medals.

But IAAF’s long-term storage and retesting strategy concerning IAAF Championships, which began in 2005 with anti-doping samples from that year’s IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, has led to disciplinary action being commenced against a further 28 athletes following a second reanalysis.

In 2012, the IAAF conducted a first round of re-analysis of urine samples taken at the Helsinki World Championships, which had been stored by the IAAF at the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, in anticipation of new scientific developments.

This strategy first revealed six adverse findings from Helsinki, which were announced in March 2013 and to date 9 athletes have been sanctioned following re-testing of samples from various world championships.

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