Anti Doping Agency Adopts Citizen TV’s #PoisonedSpikes

Anti Doping Agency Adopts Citizen TV’s #PoisonedSpikes

Poisoned Spikes, a documentary aired by Citizen Television, was concerning and “adds to” many of the findings of a 2012 German TV programme that initially uncovered doping problems in Kenya, the Wada director general David Howman said in a statement.

Wada officials had viewed the Kenyan documentary, Howman said, and the allegations it made were “of concern to Wada and the broader anti-doping community”.

“Where evidence from the documentary leads to breaches of the World Anti-Doping Code, Wada would expect the appropriate bodies to fully investigate and take action,” Howman said.


Doping erodes running power reputation

He said his organisation would discuss the Citizen TV documentary with authorities on a visit to Kenya next week.

The documentary was aired in a series of episodes in February and March, and appears to support the ARD channel’s allegations that EPO and other banned substances are easily available in Kenya.

The east African country has had its reputation as a distance running power eroded by doping claims. More than 30 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests in the past five years, according to the national federation.

In one of the sequences in the latest documentary, a man posing as an athlete negotiates to buy an EPO injection from a man claiming to be a doctor for around $100. With a hidden camera recording in a back room of a drug store, the athlete – who does not receive an injection – expresses concern over the health implications of EPO.

 “Why? There is no harm,” the doctor says, according to the documentaries’ subtitles. “This is what we do almost every day.”

The doctor freely explains the process of administering EPO, saying he needs 40 minutes to prepare the substance before injecting it.

The incident took place in the town of Kapsabet in western Kenya, according to the documentary, near to the famous high-altitude running town of Eldoret where many top athletes train.


Doctors offering EPO and banned substances

In another exchange, a telephone call is made to a man identified as a pharmacist, who is selling EPO for 30,000 Kenyan shillings, or $320 (£214). After negotiations, he settles for $215 (£144). The man posing as the athlete and buyer says his sister wants to know what the drug is and if it’s harmful.

“Just tell her it is EPO. EPO,” the pharmacist says, rejecting any health concerns. “How many have died and how many have we killed? You know what, if she doesn’t want you to be assisted, let her say … tell her if any mistake happens it is between you and the doctor.”

In the documentary, the Kenyan athletics federation president Isaiah Kiplagat says it has been alleged that doctors and pharmacists offering EPO and other banned substances are also operating in Iten and Eldoret – favourite training towns for athletes – and the capital, Nairobi.

Poisoned Spikes also touches on the cases of the banned athletes Rita Jeptoo and Mathew Kisorio. The marathon champion Jeptoo was banned for two years in January for testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in Kenya late last year. In an interview, her former partner blames her foreign agents for her doping, saying they gave her unidentified tablets and “special water” to take.

Kisorio is interviewed and says he tested positive for steroids in 2012 after being injected with an unknown substance by a doctor, who told him “it would make my muscles stronger”.

Courtesy: The Guardian

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