Rugby Rugby

KRU trashes doping probe findings


MUTHEE-TREUNAIROBI, Kenya, May 9- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has termed the report presented by the Government Probe Committee on doping as baseless for claiming substance abuse was rampart in their sport.

The findings presented by the Prof. Moni Wekesa led committee to Cabinet Secretary in charge of sports, Dr. Hassan Wario; alleged supplements with banned substances were widely used by rugby players in the country.

In a swift response KRU chairman, Mwangi Muthee, rubbished the report maintaining it was the wrong way to deal with the threat of drug abuse in the country by sportspersons.

The Union boss further held the Probe Committee that was appointed in November following the directive by World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) for Kenya to investigate the rise in positive drug tests in athletics failed to execute its mandate.

“They failed to assist sports associations with facts from doctors and scientific laboratory operators and instead willingly or unwittingly caused their comments to be published in a very casual manner in the media,” Muthee charged.

He dismissed claims by Wekesa that rugby players were not being tested by pointing out the national sevens team that is currently in London for example was subjected to continuous testing at the annual HSBC World Sevens Series that has nine events.

“Like all top class rugby players, or general sportsmen in the world — and Prof Wekesa knows this — our squads use approved food supplements and not drugs.

“Voluntarily, the KRU handed for testing to Prof Wekesa’s committee samples of the food supplements used by the squads.

“What we should be receiving back is the transparent reports on the findings of identified authentic doctors and testing laboratories, to say specifically what banned substances were found in the food supplements,” Muthee said.

“The supplements are manufactured by a South African company of world repute – Evox Advanced Nutrition – and if found illegal, with all the evidence, Prof Wekesa’s committee should be assisting the KRU to seek answers from the manufacturers.

“We would also expect the onus to be on Prof Wekesa’s committee to point a finger to the suppliers doing illegal business in the country and for Government to close down and punish them. KRU does not condone illegal drug use and will not defend anyone doing so,” the rugby boss added in his riposte to the findings.

“KRU officials were co-operative and agreed to stop it. They even handed over the supplements and we plan to destroy the same,” Wekesa said of rugby in his report.

“Now, that is sensationally untrue and quite outrageous and it is incredible to think that the Committee actually said this. It is simply erroneous.

“The KRU has its Medical Advisors and it is only they who can rebut the purported accusations of rugby using banned substances.

“To get to the bottom of the matter, there must be honest back and forth communication between Prof Wekesa’s committee and sports associations backed with medical and scientific findings from bona fide practitioners,” Muthee maintained.

In pointing out other sporting giants did not rush to blacklist their exponents before exhaustive probes, Muthee called on the anti-doping effort to desist from blanket statements that could harm the sport.

“We would like it to be the same in our country. Causing blanket suspicion should not be the way to conduct business by any authority entrusted with a genuine fight against banned substances,” he added.

Wekesa’s report stated rugby and football were the disciplines where banned substance use was common while absolving that led to the Wada directive with 17 positive tests in 12 months from culpability.

Wario promised to act on the findings.