Doping sympathizers have been put on notice as the government cracks the whip on the use of the illegal drugs in the country as the fight against the menace intensifies.
This comes barely two weeks after Athletics Kenya (AK) took another bold step after they declared that any athlete found culpable of doping will not be allowed to represent Kenya in any competition; whether international or local- even after completing his/her ban.
And even before the dust settles, AK president Lt. (Gen) Rtd Jackson Tuwei is now putting on notice all those who in one way or another aids athletes in doping; that punitive measures are awaiting them.
“We have insisted on the importance of running clean but it is also important to note that this is not only about athletes; there are the athletes support personnel who may be supporting this.
“They may include officials, those who sell illegal drugs from hospitals and even those who ferry drugs from abroad as well as any other person aiding the process in anyway. They will face punitive measures since we want to tame this menace for good so that we can earn respect from the world,” said Tuwei.
His sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Sports , Peter Kaberia, who re- affirmed the government’s commitment to tame doping, insisting that they are now looking beyond the athletes as they hunt for the persons behind the scenes.
“We are going to ensure that those involved in either providing the doping facilities or even apparatus and those using the drugs are banned from participating in any of our activities since we are very serious about this issue and also because Kenya wins clean,” Kaberia warned.
The fight against doping has intensified with athletes nowadays going through a thorough screening even in local events, including local marathons where the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) have been conducting training sessions for both the athletes and members of the public.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Baringo Half Marathon on Saturday, National Olympic of Kenya (NOCK)president Paul Tergat also weighed in: “The issue of doping is something we did not expect here in Kenya but I want to affirm that we shall have zero tolerance on this because anybody caught will no longer represent our country again,” charged Tergat.
Early this month AK launched nationwide campaign against doping awareness in the towns of Nyahururu and Kapsabet, as the fight continues.
Kenya’s record in the world has been tarnished with some athletes testing positive for the illegal drugs with Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong being the latest victim.She has been handed her a four- year ban by ADAK.