Kenya not yet out of the woods, warns AK chief Jackson Tuwei

By: AYUMBA AYODI

Kenya is not out of the woods yet even with the formation of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak), Athletics Kenya’s acting president, Jackson Tuwei, has warned.

Tuwei said although the Cabinet has approved the formation of Adak which will strengthen the agency by giving it powers to oversee the prosecution of anti-doping related offences, a lot remains to be done in the war against doping.

INDEPENDENT BODY

“In fact, its independence will help us (Athletics Kenya) concentrate on other issues since it’s tricky when we are left to deal with our own regarding doping issues when we don’t have the capacity,” Tuwei (above) explained. “Adak will be formidable if well-funded to carry out the activities such as doping education.”

Tuwei said Kenya is no exception and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) is expected to come out strongly against doping. On Friday, IAAF to suspend Russia from all athletics activities over doping conspiracy.

AK Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir said Adak should move fast and implement what Wada has recommended, adding that Kenya needs a robust testing facility to save the youth of the country from rogue coaches and managers.

“Really we can’t have a manager or coach with more than five athletes who have been banned for doping still operating in the country,” said Korir. “Wada means business and we can’t stagnate.”

Korir said Kenya featured strongly in the documentary prepared by German broad caster that helped convict Russia and the country should be prepared for a rough ride. “Our youth are being destroyed as we watch,” warned Korir.

Kenya, under scrutiny amid allegations of widespread doping in world athletics, on Saturday announced the immediate establishment of an anti-doping agency.

Coming just a day after the IAAF, world athletics’ governing body, banned Russia over “state-sponsored” doping, the government released details of the new initiative with the aim of assuaging concerns over the east African country’s internal anti-doping policy.

A damning report by the Wada last week outlined evidence of systematic cheating with the consent of the government in Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian lab that totally lacked credibility.

Many in Kenya fear doping is rife among their top class athletes too — runners who have been the source of enormous national pride.

More than 30 Kenyan athletes have been suspended and five more banned since 2012 after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Notable among that number was marathon star Rita Jeptoo, while there were two positive tests at this year’s Beijing world championships, where the Kenyan team topped the medals table for the first time since the champs started in 1983, taking seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION