MONACO, November 17- The biggest voice in the world governing body IAAF President, Lamine Diack tore into the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for what he called a ‘campaign’ against athletics by citing Kenya and Jamaica in their purge against drug cheating.
Diack’s staunch defence came after the two nations dominated the WADA Congress that concluded in South Africa last week for their apparent inaction in tightening doping control.
It led to threats they would be blacklisted and forced out of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“Because one doctor made accusations, it has been Kenya, Kenya, Kenya! They are the most controlled in the world, 650 to 700 athletes are tested in and out of competition, its control all the time and this (claims) is totally false.
“It’s like WADA is making a campaign, I protest, what was long, they went there, what did they find?” the visibly displeased President said Saturday ahead of the 2013 World Athletics Gala in Monaco.
The global athletics boss was alluding to the citing of Kenyan athletes by the anti-doping body following a spike in doping cases, 17 since January 2012 although apart from the 2011 World Cross captain, Matthew Kisorio, did not affect the cream of the country’s top runners.
On Jamaica who came under WADA’s cross hairs a fortnight ago with a team visiting the country following reports of a flawed doping control system as well as high profile sanctions against top sprinters Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown, Diack expressed confidence that the Caribbean giants are capable of managing their own testing.
“We have to be clear on that, everyone knows the strength of Jamaica in sprinting, we are doing our best in athletics. Jamaica is in a position to do their own control, stop all this.”
“WADA have no power to suspend anyone,” he added.
Last week, the Government set-up a 12-man Committee headed by Prof. Moni Wekesa to probe all doping cases and recommend necessary action to athletes, manager, suppliers, coaches and everyone else involved in encouraging use of banned substances.
During the Congress in South Africa, WADA President, John Fahey, ‘welcomed’ the move but stated his body was yet to receive official communication from the Government about the said task force.
The anti-doping body had given Kenya a November deadline to investigate cases or the nation would be blacklisted.
Speaking in Monaco, Athletics Kenya vice-president in charge of Administration and Competition, David Okeyo, hailed Diack’s assertion disclosing to Capital Sport that testers had come to the country seeking top runners and six months later, there was not even a single positive case.
“Following reports we were hiding something or giving our athletes something, they have been coming and asking for specific runners and up to now, we are still waiting for the results. It does not take that long and now we have biological passports meaning they have nothing,” he added.
Last year, a report aired on German television ARD claimed there was evidence of systematic doping among Kenyan runners and although big names were floated, the country still awaits the cited ‘evidence’ of organised substance abuse.