Doping menace set to dominate talks at AK conference


Doping menace set to dominate talks at AK conference
President Athletic Kenya, Jackson Tuwei flag off the Safaricom Madoka half marathon in TaitaTaveta County. Hosea Mwok won the men category and Lucy Cheruiyot the women. Safaricom sponsored the race as part of the Safaricom Athletics series 2016.

In Summary

  • The doping menace that continues to blight Kenya’s athletics is set to dominate the talks at the inaugural Athletics Kenya (AK) conference set to run from tomorrow to Saturday at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel.
  •  This week’s event will be the first conference held by the athletics body after scrapping the annual AK Awards gala that was meant to fete outstanding athletes.
  • The doping menace that continues to blight Kenya’s athletics is set to dominate the talks at the inaugural Athletics Kenya (AK) conference set to run from tomorrow to Saturday at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel.
  • The move by AK to make the seminar a feature on its calendar is aimed at stepping up the war against the vice.

The doping menace that continues to blight Kenya’s athletics is set to dominate the talks at the inaugural Athletics Kenya (AK) conference set to run from Thursday to Saturday at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel.

This week’s event will be the first conference held by the athletics body after scrapping the annual AK Awards gala that was meant to fete outstanding athletes.

The move by AK to make the seminar a feature on its calendar is aimed at stepping up the war against the vice.

According to organizing committee chair and AK treasurer David Miano, the seminar is mainly targeting Kenyan athletes, who have of late been on the radar of IAAF.

“We expect at least 150 athletes to attend with majority of them drawn from those known as the ‘probables’- those who are subject to doping tests from IAAF at anytime,”  Miano explained.

Miano noted that the doping menace should be resolved sooner rather than later as Kenya risks paying a hefty price in the near future if the current trend where some of the high profile athletes have tested positive to banned substances continues.

“We have done our part as AK and we will continue doing more, the government has done its part same thing with Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) but there seems to be no change. We have thus decided to use a different approach at this conference,” lamented Miano.

Apart from doping, AK will also educate athletes on career development, with retired athletes who are now professionals in other fields expected to give talks on planning for life after retirement .

Transition has, in the past, been cited as one of the major bottle necks that athletes struggle with once they end up their careers with many sliding into tough economic paths.

“We have also invited professionals especially retired athletes like Prof. Mike Boit who is a lecturer at Kenyatta University to enlighten young athletes on the importance of education and how to handle their careers till retirement,” Miano said.

Also on the agenda are the legal issues affecting athletes especially when entering into contracts with agents. This, too, is a cancer that has continued to plague the athletes.

Alongside the elite athletes, the young athletes that participated in the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland and who are future prospects have also been invited as are 10 marathoners who won in different races last season.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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