No reprieve for Kenya in latest doping rankings


No reprieve for Kenya in latest doping rankings
AIU Deputy Head Thomas Capdevielle addressing media on December 2, 2019. Photo by Gilbert Kiprotich of Citizen Digital.

Despite the sustained efforts to contain the doping menace, Kenya remains a hot bed of drug cheats in the latest categorisation of nations by the World Athletics.

Kenya remains in category A of the global body’s watch-list of countries with high prevalence of doping cases alongside Bahrain, Belarus, Morocco and Ethiopia while Ukraine and Nigeria are the latest addition to the category.

Although the the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) noted Kenya’s continued effort to combat the vice, chairman David Howman has called for more to be done.

“All five countries that were in Category A last year showed a marked improvement over 2019 in several areas but they need to maintain that good work, and close scrutiny needs to continue for the time being, before any changes in the status of these federations is made,” Howman said.

The new development comes as a big blow to Athletics Kenya, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and the ministry of Sports who have been working towards cleaning the tainted image of the sport in the country.

In the last two consecutive years, AK alongside ADAK and AIU has organized two athletes’ conference while also setting up sensitization campaigns in major athletics events across the country in a bid to avert the rot.

However, as the fight against the vice intensifies so does the cases of athletes being convicted with high level cases increase with two high level cases already reported since the start of 2020.

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, former world junior champion Alfred Kipketer and recently the 2018 Rotterdam Marathon champion Kenneth Kipkemoi have already been handed provisional suspension by AIU pending final decision on their respective cases.

AK president Jackson Tuwei while addressing the press on January, 18 warned dopers that they have got nowhere to hide and will be exposed while also vowing to push for the criminalization of the vice.

Under the AIU rule 15, athletes hailing from countries in category A of the watch-list are subjected to a rigorous test prior to the World Athletics Championships.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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