Barnaba Korir:We need concerted efforts to weed out doping
Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch and Kip Keino Classic meet director Barnaba Korir has called upon sports stakeholders in the country to intensify their strategies and collectively lay down the anti-doping strategies in a bid to tame the monster which is ravaging Kenyan sporting scene.
Korir who has been passionate about eradicating the vice through advocating for running clean and winning fairly said the war against doping can only be won through collective responsibility by those who embrace the game besides applying stiffer sanctions for violators of well laid guidelines.
"Many of those who found themselves on this list of shame have represented the country on many occasions and even made it to the podium. It is important that we, as sports stakeholders, intensify awareness programs at all levels of the industry to inculcate values of integrity, fairness and transparency in past, present and future athletes" he wrote
Last week,President William Ruto reiterated his commitment towards taming doping scourge to help restore Kenya's reputation as a sporting powerhouse in the World.
Speaking on Thursday at State House Nairobi when he met the President of World Athletics Sebastian Coe,the head of state said the Government will advocate for a clean sport and prioritise the protection of its clean Athletes.
“We are determined to protect Kenya's reputation and heritage as an athletics powerhouse. We are ready to work together with athletes, their contacts and partners to confront the doping menace and protect the integrity of our champions.,” said President Ruto
On January 7,the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) published a list of 20 sportsmen and women they have provisionally suspended for doping rules violation.
This was the first time ADAK had come out to publish the names of the doping offenders who not only included mostly athletes but also cuts across football, judo and bodybuilding ahead of their appeals hearing.
Former Africa and African Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot, two-time Africa high jump champion Matthew Sawe, the 800m athlete Michael Saruni who was once touted as the would-be David Rudisha’s successor,footballer Teddy Osok were among those flagged down.
Kenya escaped a blanket ban in December last year from World Athletics - but were warned by Lord Coe that there is a 'long journey ahead' to rebuild trust amidst widespread doping violations.
There are currently over 60 Kenyan athletes serving doping bans and there were serious fears in the East African country of a sanction that would suspend them from competition.
Kenya is one of seven 'Category A' nations recognised by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to have the highest doping risk which threatens the integrity of the sport.