Kenya: Doping Allegations in Today’s Sunday Times

It has come to our attention that that today’s Sunday Times features grave allegations against Major Michael Rotich — the field and track manager of Kenya’s Olympic Team.

While the details of the expose are under review, the Ministry reads mischief in the article. The story comes just two days after WADA announced that it has removed Kenya from its non-compliant list–a move which vindicated Kenya’s commitment to ensuring doping plays no part in our sports and athletics.

Moreover, this is not the first time that such allegations have been levelled against Kenyan Athletes during the Olympic period. In 2012 the ARD published a similar story, just ahead of the London Olympics. Yet to date, none of the allegations they made then have been substantiated.

Last month, the ARD and Sunday Times collaborated in the publication of yet another doping story. In good faith, Kenya promptly launched investigations into that expose which are, even now, underway. However, based on the evidence collected thus far, there is reason to believe that the two publications may have coerced unscrupulous individuals into forging documents and falsifying information on doping among Kenyan and International athletes. Today’s story, leads us to wonder why the Sunday Times withheld such serious information from the relevant Kenyan authorities, thereby jeopardising investigations. Their motivations in releasing today’s story, are therefore suspect.

As a country, Kenya has had its share of allegations and rumours.

Athletics Kenya has come under extreme scrutiny and in some instances, individuals involved in doping have been discovered and punished. We have had a number of drug test failures and a number of athletes are currently suspended. As a nation, we continue to forge ahead in the fight against rogue individuals bent on illegal sporting practices.

Even as we do, however, we take exception to the frivolous levelling of unsubstantiated allegations against our athletes or sports teams. There is a staggering difference between exposing wrongdoing and casually engaging in the wholesale denigration of a nation’s legacy. The latter we will not tolerate.

Doping is a crime and Kenya recognises that. But this crime exists at an individual level: it is not a culture within the country, nor is it endemic, and with help from the world’s anti doping authorities, we are urgently applying the full extent of the law to drive this crime out of Kenya.

Our position has been consistent. We have demonstrated our commitment to ensuring competitive sporting excellence. We have enacted the relevant legislation to deal with doping. We have established the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and empowered it to carry out its mandate. And we have carried out multiple tests on every single member of our Olympics team to ensure that they will complete clean.

It is disheartening that this ill-timed story, whose veracity is dubious, comes just as our Olympians prepare to compete. Those 85 young men and women have trained incredibly hard, and endured multiple drug tests for the opportunity to compete on that global arena. We are dismayed at efforts to discount their hard work and cast doubt on any accomplishments they achieve.

We however urge our clean team to remain strong, steadfast, and undeterred from their ultimate goal–putting forth their best efforts and winning more medals and trophies for themselves and for Kenya. As we have said before, they have our unwavering support and, we are sure, the goodwill of many reasonable citizens of the world.

Source: Government of Kenya.