DUBAI, December 1- Kenya captain Humphrey Kayange has been unveiled as the new IRB 'Keep Rugby Clean' ambassador for the Sevens game.
Kayange has led Kenya for three years under coach Benjamin Ayimba, during which time the African nation has placed itself high among the top tier in Sevens Rugby.
He takes over from former Samoan captain and World Series winner Uale Mai to become Sevens Rugby’s second Anti-Doping ambassador.
In recent times, Kayange has proved himself to be one of the finest forwards in international Sevens, with a high work rate and an exceptional scoring record. At the end of an outstanding 2008/09 season he was shortlisted for IRB Sevens Player of the Year alongside brother, Collins Injera.
"I am hugely proud and honoured to take up this role as part of the IRB’s Keep Rugby Clean campaign," said Kayange, who works as a Laboratory Analyst at the Kenya Bureau of Standards in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
"Sevens Rugby is hugely challenging both physically and mentally and across the board the players from all nations are now reaching incredible levels of fitness.
"Proudly, I can say that we do so through sheer hard work, determination and a will to win in front of the hundreds of thousands of fans who come to watch us around all the world. We must remain vigilant, though, and continue to educate the younger players in particular who can make such a mark so quickly in Sevens."
Each year the International Rugby Board raises the number of tests carried out on international rugby players. In 2009, 1,293 tests were undertaken, 360 in-competition and 933 out-of-competition across both men’s and women’s, in 15s and Rugby Sevens. Of those, 604 tests were carried out in relation to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai which resulted in no positive findings.
The IRB has been commended by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Authority, for both its testing programmes and educational campaign.
"The IRB and its Member Unions operate a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs cheats in Rugby and this record testing programme, combined with over 4,000 controls administered by our Member Unions and their National Anti-Doping Agencies, underscores our collaborative commitment in this critical area of the Game," said IRB Anti-Doping Manager, Tim Ricketts.
"While Rugby has been at the forefront in the fight against doping in Sport, it is important that we continue to develop policies that put the player first and ensure that our players have access to the best educational framework in the area of Anti-Doping.
"We are delighted to bring on board someone of Humphrey’s calibre and experience. He’s well respected among the players and we’re sure he will continue to do his very best for Rugby both on and off the pitch."
Kayange also made his mark in October 2009 when he was one of the IRB’s seven-member bid team at the IOC Session in Copenhagen, which ultimately led Rugby back into the Olympic Games.