AIU boss optimistic Kenya will win war on doping

AIU CEO Brett Clothier in Eldoret on Wednesday. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is happy with Kenya’s war against doping with its Chief Executive Officer Brett Clothier predicting huge positive cases in the coming months with enhanced testing.

Clothier, who will be heading the Steering Committee Against Doping in Kenya, lauded the government’s multi-agency approach that involves counties, police, intelligence, Athletics Kenya, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) among other stakeholders.

The committee will be headed by the visiting AIU chief Clothier, AIU’s Thomas Capdevelle, AK’s President Jackson Tuwei, Barnaba Korir, ADAK’s CEO Sarah Shibutse and Peninah Wahome while the Ministry of Sports will be represented by Richard Ombemba and Magerer Langat.

The committee will be involved in bolstering education programmes, intelligence gathering, investigations and testing of athletes.

Speaking after presenting the committee’s report to the Sports Permanent Secretary Jonathan Mueke, Clothier assured the country AIU’s commitment in ensuring Kenya is back on the right track. The country is currently ranked in category ‘A’ with highest number of doping offenders with over 30 athletes being sanctioned last year.

The AIU hopes collaboration between the various stakeholders will be key in eradicating doping in the region.

“We have doping menace across the world but we are glad that Kenya is on the forefront in fighting the menace, that’s something AIU and World Athletics is committed to help Kenya navigate the problem. The government has pledged five million (US) dollars every year, with the strategies in place, we will restore the athletics integrity in Kenya," said Clothier.

He added: “Once the work has started, there will be a lot of testing and education alongside intelligence gathering, there will be more sanctions, you must be prepared for more positive cases, it's a long road, but a good  course for the sports for ensuring the clean athletes are protected.”

Clothier held a series of consultative meetings with athletes in Eldoret, Iten and Kapsabet as well as meeting with counties leadership in those regions.

PS Mueke said: “After the implementation of the strategy, doping will be a thing of the past, as a sporting nation we must ensure that our pride is restored globally. We have already received the Steering Committee's report and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba will be releasing the report to the public as soon as possible.”

AK President Jack Tuwei said that testing of athletes will be done across all levels, junior to senior athletes while education will also target athletes support personnel- coaches, physiotherapists among others.

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