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ADAK responds to Russian article on doping scandals in Kenya

Last updated 1 month ago | By Robert Abong'o

Anti-doping Association of Kenyan (ADAK) Director Japhter Rugut during a press briefing at Trade Mark Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday, Sept 27, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has issued a response to an article from Russian-based website, which it says painted Kenya as “the main supplier of doping scandals in athletics”.

In a statement seen on Wednesday, June 3, ADAK said allegations made in Sport Express’ opinion piece published on March 22, 2020, were untrue and unsubstantiated, considering the number of athletes who stay dedicated to fair play.

SEE ALSO: Kenyan athlete charged with forging medical documents

“On March 22, 2020 Sport Express, a Russian based sports website ran an interesting opinion piece by Oleg Shamonaev titled “Kenya's doping nightmare. Why is he indifferent to WADA?”. In the article, the writer tries to paint Kenya as the main supplier of doping scandals in athletics. He further states that Kenya is guilty of vast sales of prohibited substances, forgery of documents, bribery of doping officers and the concealment of doping incidence all of which are completely untrue and unsubstantiated.

The allegations laid out in the opinion piece are uncalled for especially to those Kenyan athletes who have always chosen to be dedicated and committed to staying clean and winning right,” read part of the statement.

SEE ALSO: Doping: Kenya offers more funds for anti-doping lab

ADAK clarified several issues raised in the article, including the investigation of Kenyan long-distance runner and Rio 2016 Marathon gold medalist Jemima Sumgong.

SEE ALSO: Shock as another Kenyan athlete banned for four years over doping

This file photo taken on August 14, 2016 shows Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong raising her arms in victory as she crosses the finish line of the Women's Marathon during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro. Jemima Sumgong, the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic marathon gold when she triumphed at Rio in 2016, has failed an out-of-competition dope test [COURTESY]

“We currently have three ongoing criminal cases against athletes who have forged medical documents. Additionally, ADAK directly assisted in the investigation of Jemima Sumgong’s medical documents which we found to be falsified and forwarded the same findings to the relevant anti-doping organizations for further action,” ADAK said.

The Agency went on to explain its Intelligence and Investigations team contacted Mr Bergan, a Norwegian journalist who posted the alleged doping information in Iten on Facebook. The journalist has yet to contact ADAK, but the Agency remain open to receiving any vital information from him.

ADAK also explained its efforts to investigate the illegal sale of Perfomance Enhancing Substances (PES), along with the battle to identify and act on bribery cases.

“ADAK is part of a multi-agency team between the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) which is jointly investigating the unauthorised sale of EPO and other Performance Enhancing Substances (PES) in Kenya. Integrity upholds a nation and ADAK believes it. As an Agency we are always ready to investigate and prosecute any bribery case brought forward. We call upon the public to utilise our communication channels and reporting portal. Our Doping Control Officers (DCO) have never been implicated in any bribery attempt or act,” explained the Agency.

ADAK concluded by insisting the country has never been criminalised for doping – pouring cold water on murmurs criminal penalties were relaxed after the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“Kenya has never criminalised doping, therefore the accusation that criminal penalties for doping in Kenya were relaxed after the 2016 Rio Olympics are false and unfounded. However, we are currently in the process to introduce amendments to the Anti-Doping Act of 2016. This is likely to provide an opportunity to impose more firm and strict sanctions to individuals who are found to have violated the Anti-Doping Rules,” said ADAK.