Doping: ADAK calls for multi-agency collaborations to fight rising cases of doping in Kenya

ADAK CEO Sarah Shibutse addressing clinicians during an anti-doping education forum in Homa Bay[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has called upon sports federations and security government agencies to partner with them as they continue to fight against doping in the country.

The doping menace continues to haunt Athletics Kenya after two more Kenyan long-distance runners were suspended for doping.

Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) on Tuesday provisionally suspended Kenya’s Ibrahim Mukunga Wachira for the Presence and Use of a Prohibited Substance Norandrosterone.

The body formed by World Athletics to combat doping in the sport also banned Wachira’s teammate Kenneth Kiprop Renju for the Presence and Use of a Prohibited Substance Methasterone.

Norandrosterone is a doping agent used to accelerate muscle growth, strength, body mass, and aggressiveness while methasterone is used for weight loss and improve athletic performance.

Up to 25 elite Kenyan athletes have been suspended or banned from competing this year alone, raising fears among stakeholders that the vice was getting out of hand.

Speaking during the ‘Role of Clinical Officers in Sports Medicine’ seminar organized by the national anti-doping agency, ADAK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sarah Shibutse said she believes they can defeat doping through multi-agency partnerships.

“We want to work hand in hand with sports federations especially Athletics Kenya so that we not only test our athletes but educate them on the substances to avoid.”

 “So far we have partnered with KICD to capture aspects of anti-doping in the CBC Syllabus so as to educate the upcoming generation on the same,” said Shibutse who said ADAK has taken the fight against doping to clinicians.

The CEO also advocated for more government funding to fight doping.

“Our only source of funding is the government and we expect to have a series of meetings with the newly appointed CS after all the due process is done to work out on the way forward. We need more money to expedite these rising cases,” said Shibutse.

ADAK Chairman Daniel Makdwallo said they want clinicians to be conversant with banned substances since they interact more with athletes.

Some of the topics covered during the seminars include age manipulation, transfer of allegiance, illegal betting, bribery and corruption, competition manipulation, harassment and abuse. 

“Clinical Officers being in the category of Athletes Support Personnel play a crucial role in ensuring a doping free sport specifically when prescribing medication to athletes. It is therefore imperative that they understand Anti-Doping information as they practice.” 

“This has come in the light of increased number of Kenya athletes testing positive of commonly prescribed medications that are in our medical facilities across the country.  This has created a need for the Agency to familiarize the medical personnel with the contents in the WADA Prohibited List with an aim to stop this inadvertent doping,” said Makdwallo.

So far, the Agency has conducted such kind of workshops in Vihiga, Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and now Homabay.

The big names who have been flagged down for various doping wrongdoings in recent times include the 2019 Chicago Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono, and Rotterdam Marathon champions Stella Barsosio as well as Lilian Kasait.

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