NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – In the midst of the doping cloud that has engulfed the sports world heading into the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Kenyan team to go out and show the world the country competes clean.
Speaking on Friday when handing over the flag to Team Kenya at State House, President Kenyatta wished the team well, asking them to emulate the 2015 IAAF Beijing World Championships team that ruled the world with 16 medals.
“These people don’t need drugs or to be doped to win. We know they can win. Go out there and show how Kenya can do it. Show them we can win clean even if we don’t win show them we can play clean,” the Head of State told the athletes.
“Bring back the gold medals. Kenya has a strong tradition of proud, clean and successful competition in the Olympics. It is your turn to take this heritage even higher and make your brothers and sisters proud of their nation and their flag. I encourage each of you to rise to the occasion and excel,” President Kenyatta added.
National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Chairman Kipchoge Keino said results of tests conducted on the athletes by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) will be released next week and he will present them to President Kenyatta to assure all athletes heading to Rio are clean.
“The athletes have been tested over and over again in camp and we welcome WADA to do even more tests just to show that we have a clean team and we will be taking a clean team to Rio,” Keino said.
Team captain Wesley Korir, the Cherangany Member of Parliament exuded confidence in the squad that will see Kenya compete in athletics, rugby sevens, boxing, swimming, weightlifting, archery and judo.
“We have a clean team in camp and when the results come next week, anyone whose results turn positive will be immediately ejected from the team,” the marathoner said.
President Kenyatta assured them of support from the government.
“You not only bear your own dreams and aspirations but expectations of 40 million Kenyans as well. You are ambassadors for your nation representing all of us and we don’t have any doubt you are able to perform brilliantly, honourably and above all with great integrity,” President Kenyatta said.
Judo, weightlifting, rugby sevens and boxing will be the first batch travelling to Rio and they are scheduled to leave on Sunday.