Doping: Tuwei warns athletes as Kenya still on AIU watch list

AK president Rtd Lt General Jackson Tuwei during a past media briefing at Riadha House. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei has warned athletes that they have nowhere to hide in the war against doping as the country remains in Category ‘A’ of the World Athletics and World Anti-Doping Agency watch list.

The doping menace has not only sullied the sport but also country’s image as high-profile athletes continue being punished by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). Almost 13 runners have been suspended in the last five months.

The country’s athletics boss maintains that only athletes who meet World Athletics requirements will be picked to represent the country at the World Championships in Oregon later in the year. 

The requirements states that athletes must have attended anti-doping seminars, three out of competition testing and qualifications standards for each event.

“The fight against doping will continue, no cheating athlete will escape especially in this technology era. Only athletes who have met the qualifications standards will be invited for the national trials,” said Tuwei. 

Before taking any substance, athletes are encouraged to consult an expert and check the prohibited list on the labels.

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya is expected to dispatch Under-20 top sprinters for a month-long training programme in Miramas, France as part of their preparation towards the World Under-20 Championships slated for August 1-6 in Cali, Colombia.

The federation aims at building on the last performance held in Nairobi, where the host nation retained the overall title after claiming 16 medals; eight gold, a silver and seven bronze medals. 

The programme which is a partnership between AK and Miramas Athletics Club will see the Kenyan sprinters get exposure ahead of the trials to select a team to the global showpiece.

The team is set to will leave the country on Friday and return on May 2.

The traveling party includes Elkanah Kiprotich Kimeli, a 400m sprinter who participated at the Under-20 in Nairobi and made the qualifying rounds in 46.75, world Under-20 400m silver medallist Sylvia Chelangat. Chelangat sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at Lelu Secondary School in Kericho this year. 

Others are Peter Kithome and Meshack Baraka (400m), Jonathan Mutua (200m), Mercy Chebet who made qualifying rounds at Under-20, Alex Mureithi from the University of Nairobi (200m), Reymond Kipkorir (800m) and Judy Kemunto (400m).

The eleven athletes will be accompanied by veteran youth coach Andrew Maritim and Perpetua Mbutu. While in France, the athletes will compete in several races to meet the qualifying time. 

“This training program partnership is a good opportunity for the youngsters. Actually this what we have been waiting for, the athletes will have a chance to train in facilities. They will also enjoy modern style of training for sprinters and the biomechanics of spirits running,” said Maritim.

The athletes seeking to represent the country at the World Under-20 Championships have started reporting to various camps across the country.

The camps are AIC Luani, Talent Discovery, and Development Center, Machakos, Riruta Central School, Nairobi, Chania High School in Thika, Nyandarua Boys in Olkalou, St Micheal Primary, Embu, Kiptere Boys, Kericho, Eor-Ewauso, Narok, Keringet Boys, Nakuru, Torongo Secondary in Baringo, Kapsumbeiyuo Primary in Nandi, Kapkoimur in Nandi and Kamoi Secondary in Elgeyo Marakwet.


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