Athletes urge AK, ADAK to step up doping fight
Athletes have urged Athletics Kenya (AK) and the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya(ADAK) to step up their fight against doping in order to save the image of the nation.
Speaking during the Anti-Doping Day held Friday at Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, elite athletes led by former World Marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang said despite a lot of efforts being made, a lot has yet to be done to completely eradicate the menace.
“I think in terms of policies we have enough but the issue at hand now is to ensure that we look at the root cause and that is how we can be able to end this problem,” said Kipsang
On his part former 5000m World Champion Benjamin Limo called for a legislation of a law that convicts doping victims as criminals.
“We need an introduction of a strict law in parliament which will see any person caught doping be prosecuted as criminal and in my view that will end doping for good,” said Limo.
Other athletes who stood to condemn doping include the four time New York City Marathon Champion Mary Keitany, two time World Champion in marathon Edna Kiplagat as well as two time Olympic champion David Rudisha.
Elgeyo Marakwet County governor Alex Tolgos on his part has promised to tackle the menace in the county firing a stern warning to all that sympthatize with the culprits especially the medical practitioners that provide drugs.
” I want to state here that I will be the one to snatch away the license of any medical practitioner who is found aiding doping in my county,” vowed Tolgos.
Although the county dubbed ‘home of Champions’ hosts many athletes, the turnout on the event was dismal thus bringing into question the level of seriousness athletes and coaches alike are taking the war on doping.
AK president Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said the doping issue has affected the number of international races Kenyan athletes get especially in marathons.
“The effects of doping are being seen clearly as the number of our athletes competing in marathons are reducing drastically,” Tuwei noted.
The AK boss however promised tough measures ahead especially in international competition where athletes will be required to conduct three doping tests before being allowed to participate in trials including those for the 2019 World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar.
The Anti-Doping campaign which is an annual event was launched last year in Laikipia and Nandi Counties.
The athletics body have further strenghtened the war on doping by holding the awareness alongside the AK Cross Country, Relay Series and Track and Field meetings.