Be wary of rogue medical practitioners, AK boss Tuwei warns athletes

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has urged athletes to be wary of whom they reach out for medical assistance in order to avoid any chance of dealing with rogue practitioners who may end up dragging them into doping.

The AK boss said there is an approved set of doctors under the Kenya Doctors Network who are verified by both AK and the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to handle Kenyan athletes.

“I want to urge all athletes wherever they are to always consult doctors from the Kenya Doctors Network who have been vetted by AK and IAAF. Even if you are abroad and you have to see a doctor there, make sure you contact one of the doctors in the Kenya Doctors Network so that your records can be taken – on the illness and the drugs given,” advised Tuwei .

The Kenya Doctors Network was established in November 2017 in an effort to curb doping in the country after an increase in the vice had threatened to lock Kenya out of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Tuwei’s sentiments comes even as Kenya is still ranked among category ‘A’ of countries where doping is highly prevalent.

A number of high profile doping cases have been reported with the axe claiming Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong who received a fresh eight-year ban after allegedly tabling fake evidence in an earlier doping hearing.

The athletics body has also retreated to registering all the local and foreign coaches in the country in a bid to salvage the image of Kenya’s famous sport.

IAAF CEO Olivier Gers with LOC Chair Jackson Tuwei and CEO Michael Mwangi Muthee in Nairobi (PHOTO/IAAF/LOC)
(FILE)IAAF CEO Olivier Gers with LOC Chair Jackson Tuwei and CEO Michael Mwangi Muthee in Nairobi (PHOTO/IAAF/LOC)

“So far we have registered over 300 coaches and we are urging those who have not registered to do so. We are soon going to release a report on the same and the impact it will have on our sport. We have discovered that we have so many people calling themselves coaches yet they are not even trained which means they are also cheating,” Tuwei said.

Tuwei who was recently appointed as the chairperson of the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund Oversight Board,  also raised alarm on the ballooning cases of age cheating especially in local events that entails juniors who may not have identification documents.

“This kind of thing (age cheating) won’t take us anywhere, I therefore urge all athletes to be genuine and compete at their respective categories.  A coach or a teacher of those found cheating will be held responsible for any reported case on their student,” warned Tuwei.

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