NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12 – Athletics Kenya (AK) has announced stringent rules for marathons held in the country starting next year among them a minimum of Sh500,000 ($5,954) for winners of the races.
Speaking at the launch of the 2012 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon on Wednesday in Nairobi, AK boss Isaiah Kiplagat served notice to organisers that doping control will also be mandatory during the said races.
“From next year, we will not license any full marathon that does not pay the winner at least Sh500,000 ($5,954). There is really no need for people to go out there getting sponsorship, putting money into their pockets and you pay a man who has ran 42km Sh150,000 that is a joke!” Kiplagat charged.
He added the new directives would affect top ten finishers at the marathons.
“If you want to run a real marathon, you must be prepared to pay at least Sh300,000 ($3,571) to the second winner and Sh250,000 ($2,796) to the third finisher all the way down to number ten.
“We have also decided the 21km half marathons will have a minimum of Sh250, 000 ($2,796) for each winner. We want these races to be used to promote athletes, we want to make sure top athletes and good athletes come to run in Kenya, but they can only come if you pay them well.”
The federation chief said the tough anti-doping measures had been taken to enhance the image of the country’s runners.
“Every marathon now must have dope testing procedures. We are worried as you know our Kenyan athletes being suspected of using substances to win races.
“We are addressing the issue very seriously. And there will be no event in this country where doping is not conducted.”
Kiplagat laid out some of the measures to be taken in the doping procedures.
“Soon as the event is over, you as the organisers will have the doping official’s contact and no prize money shall be paid until the results are out. We are doing a lot of investigations which has signed cooperation with World Anti Doping Agency, to carry out the investigations in the country.”
“We are enforcing this alongside the Kenya Police and the Narcotic Unit and WADA will be helping us to ensure that we eliminate this thing once and for all. And we can only do that by dope testing everybody that takes part in any race in this country,” he added.
The long serving chairman disclosed that a special team at AK has been set up to inspect all projects that organisers use as charitable causes to attract sponsorship.
“If you make Sh100m ($11.9m) and you build a classroom of Sh200,000 ($2,381) where did the rest of the money go to? So it is not a money minting exercise, it’s not for you to make money for yourself. If you say you will sponsor a project by organizing a race then that project has to be seen.”
He lauded Standard Chartered for keeping their ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative open for all and showcasing the beneficiaries.
“We have nothing to worry about the Stanchart, we have seen Henry Wanyoike and the young children who have benefited, we are happy. But others are just collecting and putting the money in their pockets.
Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon marks 10 years
Earlier, the Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon was officially launched with pomp and colour as it celebrates its 10th anniversary and it will take place on Sunday, October 28 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Long term sponsors and partners were feted in a torch relay that saw their representatives run from the Nairobi City Hall to the banks headquarters on Chiromo Road in Westlands.
This years theme will be ‘Run for a Reason’ and will see participants run in the events six categories; the Tricycles 42Km, Wheelchairs 42Km, Full Marathon (42Km), 21Km race (Half Marathon), 10Km race, and 4Km (Safari Junior Family-Fun) race.
It debuted in 2003, with the donated funds used to eradicate avoidable blindness in small children through the ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative spearhead by the bank and other strategic partners.
Other sponsors of this year’s event include Kenya Data Networks, 98.4 Capital FM, Majestic Printing Works, G4S, Alpine Coolers, Super sport, Jubilee Insurance, AAR, Pesapal, Parapet, Nakumatt, Uchumi, Tuskys, Subaru Kenya, Sentrim, Bio Foods, NCPD, Athletics Kenya and the Nairobi City Council.