Keitany: Female doctors needed in anti-doping fight


Mary Keitany of Kenya embraces her husband Charles Koech and daughter Samantha after crossing the ...
Mary Keitany of Kenya embraces her husband Charles Koech and daughter Samantha after crossing the finish line to finish first in the Professional Women's Division during the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 6, 2016 in New York City. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Triple New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany has urged Athletics Kenya (AK) and world governing body IAAF to engage female doctors in their latest anti-doping programme to cater for athletes of their gender.

The two-time London Marathon winner who will be seeking a third title in April added at least two female medics should have been included in the team of six from Kenya Doctors Network (KDN) who will be vetting local athletes to clear them of doping ahead of international competition.

The London 2012 Olympics fourth finisher however, hailed the new scheme saying it will benefit younger athletes who are susceptible to being exploited by malicious agents.

“It would have been better to have two women doctors to assist us as women out of the six who were recommended for us.

“Most of us know what to watch out for to avoid getting into such traps from people who do not have interests of athletes at heart. But for it will serve younger athletes a great deal,” the 34-year-old told reporters.

During an informative seminar for the KDN program for 108 elite athletes held in Eldoret on Monday, AK President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said the initiative was a pilot project set to be widened in future.

Keitany is the second-fastest female marathoner of all time and holds the African record of 2:18:37. She has also thrice won the London Marathon and took gold at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Having been omitted from the Rio 2016 Olympics squad where she was placed on the reserve list, Keitany underlined her mettle when she demolished the field for her third New York title in November.

Keitany was named in the elite field for London on Tuesday  where she will battle for the crown against defending champion and Olympics winner, Jemimah Sumgong, Chicago titleholder, Florence Kiplagat, 2015 Worlds silver winner, Helah Kiprop and debutant Vivian Cheruiyot, who won women 5000m gold and 10000m silver in Brazil.

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Story By Cyrus Sholim
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