No systematic doping scheme in Kenya – WADA


World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie addresses the assembly at the opening of the 2018 edition ...
World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie addresses the assembly at the opening of the 2018 edition of the WADA Annual Symposium on March 21, 2018 in Lausanne (AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

In Summary

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has found no evidence of an institutionalized system in Kenya according to a report from its Kenya Project taskforce
  • WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department delivered the report in Nairobi on Thursday in collaboration with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) and the Athletics Integrity Unit

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has found no evidence of an institutionalized system in Kenya according to a report from its Kenya Project taskforce.

WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department delivered the report in Nairobi on Thursday in collaboration with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) and the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The two-day meeting is the latest initiative being implemented by WADA’s I&I Department following the launch in December 2016 of a full-scale investigation, known as the Kenya Project, into widespread doping in the East African nation, as revealed by whistleblowers and media reports.

WADA and the AIU set up the project, which was focused primarily on distance running, with the view to developing a multi-stakeholder network equipped to tackle the problem. T

This week’s meeting was an opportunity to bring together all stakeholders for the first time for discussions while also affording WADA investigators the opportunity to update them on progress made to date.

The project’s objectives were twofold: firstly, to understand the doping practices of Kenyan athletes with the view to identifying those involved, at all levels; and secondly, to develop a multi-stakeholder network to better tackle Kenyan doping. The main targets of the investigation were:

  • Elite and sub-elite distance runners residing or training in Kenya and competing internationally.
  • Associated coaches, support staff, chaperones, doctors and ancillary medical staff.
  • Kenyan sporting officials (where there was a credible link to corruption or other serious crime).

The summary project report, which has now been published on the WADA website, made a number of key conclusions:

  • The doping practices of Kenyan athletes are unsophisticated, opportunistic, and uncoordinated and there is no evidence of an institutionalized system.
  • Based on the substances detected, Kenyan athletes most commonly use nandrolone and EPO.
  • Athletes in Kenya are insufficiently educated on doping and/or willfully blind as to the consequences of doping.
  • The role of local medical practitioners and quasi-medical personnel (e.g. chemists) is highly relevant to the accessibility of prohibited substances to athletes and their entourages.
  • Some local medical practitioners and quasi-medical personnel are unaware and/or willfully blind to their role in facilitating the access of athletes and their entourage to prohibited substances.
  • The benefits of the “substantial assistance” provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) are vastly underutilized by Kenyan athletes who are caught for doping.

In attendance at the meeting this week were representatives from Athletics Kenya, the Kenyan Ministry of Sports, the Kenyan Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the Kenyan Sports Disputes Tribunal, local law enforcement, INTERPOL, the Africa Zone V Regional Anti-Doping Organization and a number of interested National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs).

The NADOs present included those from Norway and the United Kingdom, which have been helping ADAK build its infrastructure and have previous experience dealing with cases involving Kenyan athletes.

Importantly, this was the first time these groups had met in one place to discuss doping in Kenya.

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