NAIROBI, Kenya (ViaNews) – More and more Kenyan athletes have been found culpable of doping according to a report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The report indicates that the outright naivety card was played by athletes in one of world sports’ prohibited dark arts.

WADA, in conjunction with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), have worked to curb out the vice in one of the greatest ever athletics nations. Since 2016, 14 athletes have been sanctioned for doping violations and sanctions.

Anti-doping Agency of Kenya. Photo: Courtesy Anti-doping Agency of Kenya.
Anti-doping Agency of Kenya. Photo: Courtesy Anti-doping Agency of Kenya.

This ever-increasing number has brought numerous debates on whether or not Kenya should face deeper repercussions from the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It is the governing body that banned Russia from competing due what was termed as ‘state-sponsored doping’.

Kenya’s rich athletics pride and history is now headed to the rock bottom if the number of athletes found guilty is anything to go by. Already world marathon champions Rita Jeptoo and Jemimah Sumgong were some of the biggest names to have been found guilty.

Sumgong has won major marathons in London, Rotterdam and Las Vegas. Recombinant Erythropoietin was the prohibited substance found in her system which attracted a four-year ban since April 2017. Jeptoo, on the other hand, is a three-time Boston Marathon winner.

Also on the hot seat is former Olympic and world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop who was found guilty doping violation this year. According to a statement by ADAK Chief Executive Officer Japhter Rugut seen by Via News, the body is actively tackling the sporting vice.

Commitment to fighting doping

“The cases point to ADAK’s commitment to promote clean sport, safeguard athletes’ well-being and promote fair play in sports. We have an elaborate Anti-Doping Education Plan that includes workshops, outreach and values-based programs covering every part of the country.

In the meantime, ADAK shall continue prosecuting athletes and their Support Personnel found culpable of Anti-Doping Rule Violations in line with the laid down legal framework and in fulfilment of our strategic function,” Rugut said.

WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations Department came up with the final stakeholder project report dubbed ‘Doping in Kenya. The report indicates that distance running is the most tested sport in Kenya. It counts for nearly 91% (8945 out of 9885) of all tests conducted and 74% (1602 out of 2161) of all athletes tested.

WADA conducted interviews with some athletes and found out some allegedly were administered with over the counter doping but provided no records to match the claim. There were others who were found guilty of falsification of records in regards to their medical treatment.

Of its conclusions, WADA found that doping practices of Kenyan athletes are unsophisticated, opportunistic and uncoordinated. Also, athletes in Kenya are insufficiently educated on doping and/or wilfully blind as to the consequences of doping.

A multi-stakeholder network has been functional in Kenya in a bid to work together in the fight against doping. WADA has lauded ADAK for its constant improvements and result based approach when conducting its widespread operations. No current signs indicate to Kenya being sanctioned by the IAAF but the emerging reports edge the country closer to walking on a very tight rope.

Anti-doping rule violations & athelete sanctions September 2018 report by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK)

Via News TV