Athletics Athletics

Kenya was under doping radar in Beijing

Francisca Koki in action during her women 400m Hurdles heat in Beijing. PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images
Francisca Koki in action during her women 400m Hurdles heat in Beijing. PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images

NAIROBI, September 2-Kenya may have been one of the countries targeted in the massive doping control in place for the 2015 World Championships following the release of the report on Beijing.

IAAF carried out 1405 doping controls in Beijing with Kenyan pair; Joy Zakary and Francesca Koki the only athletes to fail in-competition tests with more cheats if any due to be exposed when further analysis of the samples collected is done in coming months.

“As forecast by the IAAF prior to the championships, the programme was highly targeted in nature,” the world governing body confirmed in the statement as testers showed up at Team Kenya hotel to collect samples.

The world governing body finalised the “extensive anti-doping programme put in place by the IAAF which included both sample collection and education activities,” when the nine-day programme of the latest edition of the biennial track and field showpiece concluded Sunday.

“The doping control programme implemented by the IAAF in Beijing was the largest implemented in a single sporting event by any sport since the IAAF World Championships in Moscow two years ago,” a statement from the governing body stated.

“As of 1 September, the Beijing laboratory has notified the IAAF of two positives tests, both of which have been publicly released by the IAAF: Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary. Should any of the remaining samples be reported as positive, the IAAF will make a public announcement when the rules allow,” the statement affirmed.

On Monday, Athletics Kenya (AK) president, Isaiah Kiplagat, promised ‘stern action’ on the two sprinters if their B-Sample tests positive as he urged the newly established Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) to speed up the probe into their case that blighted Kenya’s sterling performance in Beijing.

Speaking whilst welcoming part of Team Kenya from the Chinese capital 24 hours later, Deputy President, William Ruto; pledged to criminalise doping by giving ADAK the legal force to prosecute athletes who test positive for proscribed substances along with doctors, coaches and managers abetting the vice.

Kenya went on to top the final medal standings on 16, seven gold, six silver and three bronze as the team bounced back from the potentially damaging case that cast aspersions to their performance.

A-Samples from Zakari (400m) and Koki (400m Hurdles) collected from the team hotel tested positive for a yet to be announced prohibited substance.

The fact that Team Kenya’s hotel was among those visited by anti-doping enforces lends credence to belief the country was on the radar after it was adversely mentioned in an explosive documentary by German TV, ARD on August 1.

According to the breakdown from Beijing, 662 blood tests for screening purposes in the context of the Athlete Biological Passport were carried out at the athletes’ hotels prior to the event.

These samples will be kept for comparison should the athletes go on to participate in future major events.

In addition, 161 blood tests for the detection of Human Growth Hormone and Erythropoiesis stimulating agents and 54 urine tests were conducted out-of-competition.

A further 528 urine tests were carried out at the Bird’s Nest 239 of which will be specifically analysed for EPO and related substances.

“Thousands of samples were collected out-of-competition in the lead-up to the event, and the IAAF then implemented an intelligence-led programme in Beijing which will see the samples frozen and stored for future re-analysis as science and technology progresses,” IAAF explained.

The Chinese National Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) staff and volunteers “successfully and professionally” managed the sample collection process pre-competition at three separate athlete hotels, as well as the main stadium itself.

The WADA-accredited laboratory in Beijing managed the sample analysis process efficiently and effectively, providing accurate and quick reporting to the IAAF anti-doping staff on site.

In addition to the doping control programme, the IAAF also continued the athlete outreach programme at all three athlete hotels.

Again the assistance of CHINADA was invaluable to the successful programme, with their enthusiastic staff on site each day to provide advice and assistance to the hundreds of athletes and support personnel that visited.

The outreach teams presented the WADA quiz, educational resources from CHINDA and the IAAF, as well as being on hand to discuss anti-doping issues and answer questions.