Athletics Athletics

AK hopes IAAF tests will end dope claims


NAIROBI, Kenya, December 20- Athletics Kenya (AK) are awaiting the results of doping tests conducted on 32 top runners by international athletic governing body IAAF to determine whether substance abuse is rampant among the country’s elite cream.

AK boss, Isaiah Kiplagat, declared on Wednesday that the exercise conducted two-weeks ago in Eldoret and Nairobi will be an indicator whether doping claims made by a German journalist, Hajo Seppelt, leveled against some top Kenyan runners in May hold any water.

“Team from IAAF conducted tests on 26 athletes in Eldoret and six in Nairobi including (David) Rudisha and (Vivian) Cheruiyot and all were available.”

“Those results will prove whether Kenya is a drug country or not,” the chairman charged.

At the same time, Kiplagat announced that a government team requested by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) was in place and would soon launch its probe in the alleged substance abuse among top Kenyan runners.

“AK has no machinery to investigate clinics or doctors said to be supplying drugs and I understand a team has been put up and will start work in January since it’s only the Government that can conduct such a probe,” he added.

“The only problems we have here are cases where some of our runners are having problems with the hormones. When the WADA president came here, he was interested in the claims made by the German journalist.”

“He has not come forward to say so, which are involved apart from (Matthew) Kisorio who was interviewed and the mentioning a few names,” Kiplagat said.

Kisorio, the captain to the 2011 World Cross in Punta Umbria, Spain tested positive for steroids at the 2012 Kenyan Athletics Championships and admitted his drug use, claiming that medical staff in Kenya had promoted system of doping to athletes in an interview with Seppelt.

In October, Beijing Olympic champion, Pamela Jelimo and world marathon record holder, Patrick Makau were cited by Seppelt as some of the clients of clinics providing doping substances.

Earlier in May, the journalist filed a report on German station ARD in their Sport Inside show where he claimed to have uncovered systematic blood doping use among Kenyan distance runners with testimonies from clinicians in Kapsabet and Nairobi collaborating his claims while working undercover.

Jemimah Sumgong, who was the runner-up at Boston Marathon and Hamburg Marathon champion, Rael Kihara had their A-samples tested positive for substance abuse but they were later cleared.