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Foreign agents blamed for doping

ATHLETE-LEGSNAIROBI, May 26- A probe into allegations of widespread doping in Kenyan sports has uncovered serious incidences of drug use and sounded the alarm that the country’s athletes are at risk of being manipulated by some foreign sports agents.

However the government-appointed commission, which completed its work earlier this month and has presented its findings to the Kenyan sports minister, Hassan Wario, did not uncover evidence of doping among its record-breaking distance runners.

The reports has blamed ignorance, lack of education and manipulation by foreign agents as the main reasons for the recent upsurge in cases of athletes testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, including the blood-booster EPO.

“We have left our athletes in the hands of foreigners,” the head of the taskforce, Professor Moni Wekesa, told AFP.

“Athletics Kenya (AK) only organises the national events, including the African games and Olympics and have given the foreign agents the free hand to manage the athletes in the Diamond League and other international competitions. These are the people who have the greater control on what to give the athletes,” he said.

“Any drugs which we found to have been used by the athletes was only through the influence of the foreign agents. These are the very sophisticated drugs only the agents know how to administer,” he added.

Wekesa said Kenya had every reason to worry about the surge in drug use, as out of the total of 37 athletes suspended in the last two decades, 17 tested positive between January 2012 and June 2013.

He said the report, which is yet to be made public, calls for all national sports associations to be mandated to comply with the policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“All sports bodies in Kenya are aware of anti-doping policies as propagated by the respective international federations and WADA, but none of them have elaborate programmes targeting education and testing,” the report says.

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