Olympic champion Robert Harting wants Kenya investigated

By: ELIAS MAKORI

Following Russia’s suspension from global athletics for violating doping rules, German Olympic discus champion Robert Harting now wants Kenya and Jamaica also investigated.

Russia was provisionally suspended from all international athletics competitions on Friday following a report by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) on gross, widespread and government-sanctioned violation of doping rules.

The IAAF’s decision was taken at the 201st IAAF Council Meeting held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF’s new president Sebastian Coe.

A total of 24 members of the IAAF Council took part in the meeting with 22 voting in favour of the sanction against the All Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).

The council member from Russia was not eligible to participate in the vote.

Harting welcomed the suspension of Russia and called for similar investigations to be carried out in Kenya and Jamaica.

“We have clarified the issue of Russia, now we have to move forward with Kenya and Jamaica and perform the same investigations,” Harting told media.

ATHLETICS KENYA UNDER PRESSURE

Athletics Kenya and the Kenyan government have been under pressure to set up water-tight anti-doping mechanisms and show commitment towards the fight against the use of illegal performance enhancing substances.

“We sent a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about,” Namibia’s former athlete Frankie Fredericks, the head of the IAAF’s athletics commission said after Friday’s decision.

“We are 100 percent in support of President Coe and believe that he is the leader that our sport needs to instigate the necessary actions swiftly and strongly,” he added.

The effects of Russia’s international ban were already being felt yesterday with Tatyana Arkhipova barred from running in Sunday’s Saitama International Marathon while Albina Mayorova and Nina Podnebesnova were also ejected from the Istanbul Marathon.

Kenya is currently the world’s leading athletics nation having topped the medal standings at this year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

On Friday, a Cabinet meeting at State House agreed to fast-track the formal establishment of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and launch legislation that would criminalise doping.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION