Rugby Rugby

KRU calls Govt to account for doping claims


MUTHEE-CFMNAIROBI, Kenya, October 21- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has challenged the Government to state whether ‘they had confidence in the qualification and integrity of members of a committee which has alleged that sportsmen, among them national rugby team players, used illegal food supplements’.

In a statement, KRU boss Mwangi Muthee said his organisation “was shocked to find press reports even alluding to that, in the first place, it is illegal to use nutritional supplements.”

He pointed out Tuesday only one player had failed a doping test and that was back in 2005 adding that sevens players, who play up to nine months in a year around the world, are tested by standards set by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Rugby Board [IRB] and none had tested positive since.

Muthee, claimed there was no WADA approved Anti-Doping Agency in Kenya and the Government Anti-Doping Taskforce had “cobbled together fallacious information from familiar players of local sports politics wishing to score points for their own agenda.”

Muthee who is currently out of the country sent a message to the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario on Tuesday outlining his complaints about the findings of the Prof. Moni Wekesa- chaired task force that were released last Friday.

“This is shoddy and misinformed work by Wekesa. Our game is unfairly tarnished beyond repair and some Kenyans are now liable to litigation because of the press publication of absolute rubbish and untruth. This exercise was a search for cheap publicity which it has achieved,” the union boss stormed.

KRU while supporting the establishment of a Kenyan Anti-Doping Agency which the Government says will be enacted with proper legislation by January 1, 2016, said they strongly question “the ethical foundation of the Wekesa committee’s war on doping.”

“Its so-called findings consist of largely unsubstantiated assumptions, dubious claims and sources within sports associations whose integrity can be challenged,” the KRU chairman maintained.

Muthee called on the Cabinet Secretary to take “quick steps to repair, even rudimentary, the terrible damage caused by careless statements and wild allegations made by the Wekesa report.”

In his correspondence to the ministry, Muthee sought the Government to disclose to the public, the members by name and profession, their background, training and qualifications to handle anti-doping.

The chairman also put the committee to task whether they believed use of food supplements is illegal or if it is banned by WADA or IRB.

Muthee held that any attempt to investigate members of their technical bench as recommended by the Anti-Doping Task Force should be done by ‘equivalent or higher authorities on the subject’

“Paul Treu and strength and body conditioning coach, Graham Bentz, are highly qualified university educated experts in modern sports skills, nutrition, bio-kinetics, sports science and sports medicine, qualifications they use to manage the Kenya international rugby players,” he charged.

Muthee added: “Mike Friday, earlier for England, Kenya and now USA, Paul Treu and Graham Bentz, coaches of many years for South Africa and now Kenya, have operated under the regulations of the IRB and it would first and foremost, be from those circles that focus would come from if they were doing anything untoward regarding nutrition supplements.”

In his lengthy statement, the Union chairman challenged the Committee to reveal what proscribed steroids were found in the supplements that it alleged they were introduced to Kenya by the foreign coaches, Friday and his successor Treu in the sevens side and Paarwater in the 15s.

“What exactly they were looking for in the food products freely handed to them by KRU? What did they find? Media reports say they found the products to be laced with steroids.

“Ordinary day-to-day food we consume daily contains steroids, which exact steroids were found? Were they synthetic or natural? Were they on the WADA banned list?” Muthee questioned.