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COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Team Kenya asked to desist from taking banned substances ahead of Glasgow Commonwealth Games

WEIRD NEWS
By JONATHAN KOMEN | July 10th 2014
Commonwealth Games Team Kenya captain Ezekiel Kemboi receives the flag from Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario (second left) at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday. [PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD] Dennis Okeyo

Kenya’s squad to the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, have been asked to desist from banned substances.

The first of the 291-squad will leave for the Queen’s Games on Sunday ahead of the opening ceremony on July 22.

The team, which comprises athletes from 15 sports disciplines, will travel to United Kingdom through Dubai, then Amsterdam to Glasgow.

Stephen arap Soi, the team’s chief de mission, warned athletes against doping or using performance-enhancing substances, saying they should be careful even during the games.

“Be careful never take food, drinks or gifts other than what is provided for all the athletes. You might be tricked into taking banned substances,” Soi said yesterday at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani during the team national flag presentation ceremony.

Soi, who is the National Judo Cordinating Board Chairman, said Team Kenya were ready for the Glasgow showdown.

“We have had adequate preparations and training. The morale in camp is high and we can surpass the 2010 medal haul in NewDelhi,” said Soi.

Kenya won 32 medals in India –12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals –in athletics, swimming and boxing.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, who presided over the function, added his voice to the calls to the athletes to stay away from doping.

“Kenyans win clean. And the growing problem should not soil our good reputation. Simple things like miraa can stigmatise or even destroy the name of Kenya. We are cracking the whip on doping,” said Wario, who handed over the flag on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Three-time world 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Olympics weightlifter Mercy Obiero are overall team captains.

Kemboi, heading to Commonwealth Games for a fourth time, said: “I have made the team four times and three times as the overall team captain. This is my last time competing in Commonwealth Games and I want to win gold medal and allow young crop of athletes to take over the steeplechase. It’s good I will compete in the presence of Ben Jipcho, who laid the foundation for us in the steeplechase,” said Kemboi.

Dr Kipchoge Keino, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya President, gave the athletes a pep talk and asked them to stay focused.

“You are young and potential athletes and have trained hard. Just go for glory,” said Keino.

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