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‘WE ARE NOT DOPERS’: HATC owners, St Luke Hospital and athlete dismiss doping expose

ATHLETICS By JONATHAN KOMEN | July 12th 2016
DOPING - ST LUKES HOSPITAL DENIES INVOLVEMENT Professor Simeon Mining (Left) the Board chairman of St Luke's Hospital in Eldoret addresses the press in Eldoret where he denied involvement of the hospital in cases of doping for athletes. Mining noted that doctors who appeared in an expose by the British paper The Sunday Times, ceased to be employees of the hospital. With his is the hospital's administrator Winfred Nzioki (Right). 11-07-2016. PHOTOS BY: KEVIN TUNOI

Furious reactions have greeted an expose by German television ARD and The Sunday Times alleging doping in the country.

On Sunday, United Kingdom based Sunday Times and German television ARD ran a shocking documentary on doping scandals at the elite training camps.

They alleged that packets of performance-enhancing substance erythropoietin (EPO) were discarded in the centre’s communal kitchen at the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) in Iten owned by Dutchman Pieter Langerhorst and his wife Lornah Kiplagat, the former world 21km record holder.

They also claimed to have discovered an EPO syringe in a rubbish bin just outside HATC.

While speaking in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Langerhorst denied the allegations and said, “we do everything possible to ensure the premises at the centre are free of drugs.”

“We have 16 cameras installed to monitor what is going on, and we must be the only training centre in the world that always tells the IAAF which athletes are staying, and in which rooms, to allow them to test at short notice,” Langerhorst told UK’s Telegraph Newspaper.

“The ARD documentary alleged that packets of EPO were found in a bin on our premises. But from what I read EPO needs to be stored in a refrigerator and at the HATC there is just one communal fridge, which all the athletes use.

“The only time we allowed another fridge was last year, when Kyle Barber, the IAAF’s out-of-competition testing and intelligence coordinator, wanted to take blood from some athletes. We booked him into two rooms under my name so that no one would be aware that he was coming.”

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Double Olympic and four-time world champion Mo Farah, world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, 2012 World Indoor 800m bronze medalist Andrew Osagie, 2011 world 1,500m silver medalist Hannah England and Michael Rimmer, the 2010 European 800m silver medalist, are among top British athletes that train at the camp.

The documentary mentioned two doctors – Samson K Limo and Ken Kipchumba Limo – from Eldoret’s St Luke’s Orthopaedic and Trauma Hospital as having administered doping for some Kenyan and British athletes.

But the hospital’s management, however, refuted the claims.

Prof Simeon Mining, the hospital’s chairman of board of directors, said they were dismayed with the media reports linking them to doping.

“The two individuals mentioned in the reports are not in any way representing the hospital and should take individual responsibility for their actions. In fact, Samson Talei ceased to be an employee of the hospital since June 2015. The hospital has not been aware of the treatment and doping activities involving Kenyan athletes or British athletes at the hospital particularly touching on the two individuals,” said Prof Mining.

Fred Nkoyon, an athlete featured prominently in the documentary, dismissed the reports saying the stories, “were manufactured.”

“I met these two guys in Eldoret here. They asked if they could meet athletes who are talented and sponsor them. Since I did not have a coach and manager, I was earger to take their offer. I was just shocked to watch the documentary,” said a shaken Nkoyon. 

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