Obiri optimistic about AK anti-doping cause

Hellen Obiri wins the Campaccio women's race (Giancarlo Colombo)/IAAF
Hellen Obiri wins the Campaccio women's race (Giancarlo Colombo)/IAAF

Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri has joined fellow athletes in hailing the initiative taken by Athletics Kenya (AK) to involve the Kenyan Doctors Network in a bid to stem the spike in doping cases that have threatened the sanity of the sport.

On Wednesday, Obiri was included in a list of 108 elite athletes named by the AK and that are set to attend an interactive forum in Eldoret on Monday at the Pearl Hotel where they will be taken through the action plan to curb the vice.

“It’s a good move by AK and by getting the help of these doctors we are assured of good treatment and sure of not getting a prescription with the banned substance. I admit there are some doping cases in the country like you see last year we were almost facing the ban and now that this year we have the World Championships so it’s important that proper measures are taken because prevention is better than cure,”  Obiri told Citizen Digital.

Commenting on her resounding victory at the 60th edition of the Campaccio Cross country in Italy where she outshone Rio 2016 teammate and champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon for gold, Obiri attributed commitment to her training routine as behind her recent up in form.

“ I can say more practice is what has helped me to reach where  here since I have not been been participating in Cross Country I  was only focusing on 1500M but I am now determined more than ever to participate in cross country,” she said.

In 2016 the Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) was declared non compliant by WADA on May 12 before efforts spearheaded by the Government saw the decision rescinded on August 4, on the eve of the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.

The Kenyan athletes went on to win six gold, six silver and a bronze in Brazil in a record performance for the quadrennial global sporting showpiece.

The AK appointed five doctors under Kenya Doctors Network who will deal with the athletes’ medical affairs and also clearing them when they will be participating in all international competitions.

Obiri who says she has great anticipations of her 2017 season said she is optimistic the move will ensure the country churns out genuine stars who will represent the true competitive spirit of the country globally.

She ruled out the possibility of participating in the County cross country championships owing to the busy schedule of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) competitions where she will be part when they kick off on January 20.

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Story By Dennis Ohuru
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