NAIROBI, Kenya, October 31- Athletics Kenya (AK) president, Isaiah Kiplagat, has warned coaches and agents found responsible for encouraging doping they will be jailed besides being banned for four years.
This comes after the forthcoming expiry of the November deadline given to Kenya by the World Anti- Doping Agency (Wada) to produce a report on the surge in doping cases involving the country’s runners.
According to AK boss, his federation is not responsible for the matter as it’s the mandate for the Ministry for Sports, Arts and Culture who have delayed to form the committee proposed to investigate all doping cases and come up with the report.
“The Principal Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Patrick Omutia, was in Naivasha with us and said he had already forwarded the names of the committee members to the Anthony General Chambers to be gazetted so that the team can start working.
“We don’t want everybody to look at athletics as the only victim of this drug issue, there are so many sports in the country like Rugby and football which is also affected by the same, that probe will have a bigger mandate,” the AK President explained.
Since January 2012, 17 Kenyan runners have been suspended for doping violations, including the captain of the national team for the Punta Umbria World Cross, Matthew Kiosorio who was sanctioned for steroid use.
His ban ends in July next year with Wada president, John Fahey, visiting the country last year to confer with authorities on the subject following the rise in doping cases.
If the report that has thus far not been compiled is not ready, Kenya risks being blacklisted by Wada during their forthcoming congress, meaning the country’s sportspersons could be barred from participating in events such as World Championships and Olympics.
Kiplagat was speaking at Riadha House while launching the second Athletics Seminar and the 2013 AK Golden Gala to be held in Eldoret for the first time.
He announced the annual gala would close the three day seminar on November 28.
“We will invite two Governors outside the region (Rift Valley) that is Machakos (Alfred Mutua) and Nyeri (Nderitu Gachagua) so that next time they will be able to host the event, because it will be rotating across all counties.
“The seminar will cover a number of issues, we want to meet with athletes and discuss with them on issues concerning investment, legal matters, social and religious life, retirement, training and competition.
The AK boss confirmed that they have invited two medical specialists from world body IAAF to educate athletes on doping during the seminar.
UAP insurance boosted the event to a tune of USD 5,879.00 (Sh500, 000) as AK seeks a total of USD 17,637.00 (Sh15m) for the event to take place.
Olympics and World 800m champion David Rudisha was crowned the overall winner at last year’s gala.