NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15- National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) chief Kipchoge Keino insists Kenya’s team to Rio de Janeiro will not be deterred despite increased attention given to the country over doping.
German station ARD released a documentary last week alleging rampant doping within athletics camps in the North Rift, setting the country into the radar of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) once again.
“People from WADA came to where the athletes are sleeping at 4am and did their testing until 6am. They have been there thrice already to test the athletes. They have done what they wanted to do. It will not affect us and team Kenya’s preparations,” Kipchoge said.
Kenya’s 1500m athlete Asbel Kiprop, who has been in superb form this season ahead of the Olympics said; at this rate, they will finish my blood! It was before trials then right a day after trials then last Tuesday then today on Thursday in Monaco. I guess by Rio I will need blood drip!” Kiprop posted on his official Facebook page.
Keino, a legendary Kenyan athlete maintained Kenya will send a clean team to the Olympics and urged WADA to continue with their numerous tests just to prove that Kenya runs clean.
“We need to be honest and transparent that we are not using those things. We run a clean team and this is the most important thing. We want our youth to perform as they are natural talented people,” added Keino.
-Agents/ managers caught doping-
He has also asked the government to help in taking action to foreign agents and coaches who are caught luring Kenyan athletes to dope.
This coming in the wake of Rosa Associati Director Federico Rosa being formally charged with six counts in two cases relating to doping allegations in a Nairobi court on Thursday.
Federico, who appeared before Nairobi’s Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Thursday, pleaded not guilty in both cases filed by retired athlete Elijah Kiprono Boit and convicted drugs cheat marathoner Rita Jeptoo Busoni.
“Those people coming to dope our athletes should be taken care of. Why are they doing it in our country? Why not their own? We want the government to also help us and make sure these people are arrested and jailed,” Keino urged.
He was speaking to Capital Sport on Friday after receiving Sh3million sponsorship from East African Breweries Limited (EABL) that will go towards team Kenya’s preparation for Olympics.
EABL through their beer brand Tusker are running a campaign dubbed ‘Tusker Twende Rio’ in a bid to raise funds to help the team prepare for the games.
Jane Karuku, the EABL Managing Director said they will be giving more funds to the team before they depart to Rio.
“We know we have a good team and we are assured by Keino they will bring home the medals. As a company, we are proud to be associated with them,” she offered after handing over the cheque.
Meanwhile, NOC-K they are working on having two extra members of the technical bench travelling with the men and women Sevens teams, dispelling fears they are trying to cut out on the number of travelling coaches.
“We are given provision of three coaches for both teams which are totally different. As NOC-K, we are now working to add two more; a strength and conditioning coach and a physiotherapist, on our own budget as per the request of KRU,” NOC-K assistant secretary general James Chacha said.
This comes after KRU chairman Richard Omwela complained over NOC-K’s intention to size down the number of coaches expected to travel with the team, saying it was a set up for failure.