Ignorance fueling doping scourge, AK boss Tuwei says

AK President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei (standing) addresses the elite athletes' seminar on doping ...
AK President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei (standing) addresses the elite athletes' seminar on doping in Eldoret. PHOTO/Courtesy

Many Kenyan athletes fall victims of doping violations since they do not understand the rules governing substance abuse in the sport.

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei announced this on Monday when he launched a seminar targeting 108 elite athletes in Eldoret aimed at introducing them to the new initiative in partnership with world governing body IAAF aimed at eradicating the vice.

According to the programme, six medics from the Kenya Doctors Network (KDN) will vet all local athletes before clearing them to compete internationally as the country seeks to be removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) warning list due to a spike in doping cases.

“We saw it fit to have all athletes in such a similar so that we familiarise ourselves on laws and regulations of doping. We could not do it on mainstream or social media because we wanted to get information to you directly,” the AK boss told the athletes.

Noting that the first case of doping in the country was realised at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Tuwei said the vice had spiralled out of control since 49 athletes have been suspended for doping in the last five years.

He added the Government has also been accused by IAAF for not doing enough to curb doping in the country and an investigation conducted by the world body in 2014 established chemists and doctors were abetting the vice.

“IAAF gave the country three conditions, one to expose all chemists doing the same and we have therefore called you here to show you how serious is the issue of doping in the country and we will link you with six KDN doctors to work on it,” he said.

The programme the AK chief announced will be fully operational in a week and they will be writing a monthly report to IAAF on state of athletes.

“It is only this network that will be accepted by IAAF and athletes not conforming on the program will not be allowed to compete in any international event that is it. We are not the first one, it is painful, strict, critical and clear,” he warned.

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