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Ruto urges athletes to avoid vices that could ruin their sporting careers

President William Ruto has called on Kenyan athletes to keep off activities that could jeopardize their God-given talents.

President Ruto regretted that the use of prohibited substances among some athletes had tarnished the country’s name and damaged their careers.

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“I want to ask our athletes not to let illegal substances destroy their career,” he said.

Speaking at the funeral service for the world record holder Kelvin Kiptum in Chepkorio, Elgeyo Marakwet County, President Ruto said such vices had forced the government to declare an all-out war on doping.

He said Kenya has put measures in place to ensure that doping does not result in a ban from international athletics authorities.

“When we took charge in 2022, Kenya was already listed because of doping. But we resolved the issue, and now we are not on the list of countries targeted by doping,” President Ruto said.

The Head of State announced that the government will spend Ksh 3.5 billion over the next five years to tackle doping-related activities.

Meanwhile, President Ruto said his administration had established a foundation and pension fund for the welfare of athletes.

“We have set up Foundations and Pension Funds to address the concerns of our athletes, especially after retirement,” he said.

President Ruto instructed Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who was also present, to revise the system to reward athletes to meet their future needs.

He announced that the Chepkorio stadium would be built in honour of the late Kiptum.  He also announced that the bidding process for the construction of the Kamariny Stadium in Iten is underway.

President Ruto urged Kenyan athletes to take time to prepare for the Paris Olympics to win many medals in honour of Kiptum and Kenya.

He described Kiptum as a strong athlete and a good person.

“Kelvin Kiptum gave us a glimpse of the future of athletics in Kenya. He was very professional and disciplined,” said President Ruto.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said he would join the athletes in Paris later in the year to strengthen incentives in honour of the late Kiptum.

He said death had taken away a great athlete who was destined for greater things.

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