NAIROBI, Kenya, December 19 – Athletics Kenya (AK) have threatened to de-register and take further sanctions against managers and coaches of 32 athletes who have tested positive for banned substances in the past five years if found guilty of abetting doping.
Federation’s president Isaiah Kiplagat declared Friday they would launch investigations on agents and trainers involved in January before taking stern action as the doping scourge continues to rock the country’s sport.
At the same time, world governing body IAAF has called on AK to carry out gender tests on three female and two male athletes suspected to possess elevated hormonal levels of opposite gender.
According to Kiplagat, the exercise is too dear for them with lack of such facilities in the country as he pegged the cost of each test at Sh600,000 (USD6,629).
“This is a very serious issue because sometimes it’s difficult to know their real identity and we have seen such cases in many countries.
“As much as the exercise is very expensive, we must carry out the tests to avoid controversy and enter them in competition in their respective gender,” Kiplagat underscored on the gender issue.
IAAF were forced to change rules on gender testing following the explosive controversy sparked by South Africa 800m star, Caster Semenya, at the 2009 Berlin World Championships when a leaked report cast aspersions on her gender.
Semenya who won Olympics silver at 2012 London Olympics; was eventually cleared to compete as a female despite international uproar that dominated Berlin Worlds following months of tests and hormonal treatment.
-Can’t trace dopers-
On doping, the president defended his federation accused of complicity in tackling the menace that threatens to discredit the country’s runners who have established a clean reputation.
“We have more than 16 cases outside the country who have tested positive but we cannot trace them. We have taken appropriate action in accordance by the rules as provided by the IAAF in terms of doping by punishing 32 athletes,” Kiplagat added.
The AK boss revealed the much awaited B-Sample results for female marathon star Rita Jeptoo would be known later Friday confirming the two-time Boston and Chicago marathon winner was present during testing.
Jeptoo’s positive A-Sample test for banned blood booster EPO is simply the highest profile doping case in the country that has a proud athletics heritage and forced AK to come out strongly to tackle the vice.
Kiplagat added the National Anti Doping Organization (Nado) launched Thursday will see cases of doping reduce since they will introduce anti-doping education in the country’s school curriculum.
“Each federation agreed to abide by Nado and the Government has come in at the right time when athletics is facing doping crisis. From next year we will have coaches and agents seminar as required by IAAF,” the AK boss stated.
The AK President further decreed his battles with dissenting 14 branch bosses will not affect the sports’ programmes in the coming season as the country prepares for the Kampala World Cross and Beijing World Championships next year.
“We will not let the wrangles affect our program so we have agreed we should limit press releases that may damage the image of AK and let the legal issues take its own course because we have five major events next year that we want to concentrate on.”
Meanwhile, the 2017 IAAF Nairobi World Youth Championships Local Organising Committee will be unveiled in January.