Kenya is backing World Athletics' (WA) new testing program that was launched on Tuesday targeting top road runners in marathon, half-marathon and long distances.
With the running calendar slowly resuming amid global COVID-19 setbacks, WA's anti-doping watchdog Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is stepping up measures to increase testing of athletes with Kenya, a long distance running powerhouse key in their testing program.
Kenya which currently has laws to criminalize doping in the country, has been embroiled in doping scandals involving its top runners.
Some of the country's top athletes serving sanctions for the doping offices includes 2008 Beijing Olympics 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, 2016 Rio Olympics women's marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong, and former three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, among others.
"We have been informed that the AIU is going to organize a number of group testing sessions specifically for road runners. The sessions will be held at a number of locations across Kenya during September," the country's athletics running governing body Athletics Kenya said in a statement on Thursday.
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"Athletics Kenya is providing them with all the required logistical support for a smooth and safe conduct of these activities in line with health guidelines of our government. We are hundred percent committed to supporting the AIU in its aim of protecting the integrity of our sport," it said.
The group testing sessions will include some advance-notice testing, where the main focus will be on building the profiles of athletes for the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program.
The samples collected from these athletes will be used to establish the initial values for their ABP profiles before regular non-notice target testing resumes on a much more extensive basis in 2021.