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Coaches, agents and camps targeted in doping crackdown

Kenya’s Sports minister Hassan Wario gives a press conference gives a press conference on August 25, 2016, at his office in Nairobi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – The government has shifted focus on coaches, agents and training camps in its crackdown on netting drug cheats in the country’s anti doping war.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hasan Wario said there’s been too much attention being focused on individual athletes instead of focusing on the other players in the sporting industry.

“There has been a widespread condemnation of athletes whereas there are other players in the sporting industry who are the conduits of the banned substances to the sportsmen and women. We will go for everyone,” said Wario.

Wario, who was speaking during the launch of the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) strategic plan in Nairobi on Wednesday, said the government will visit training camps and vet coaches, agents and managers of the athletes.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that in most cases coaches and agents were privy or even being the main perpetrators of having athletes dope.

He warned coaches and agents of stringent measures should they get implicated for being involved in abetting doping.

Wario stated that the agents need to be registered by the government for easy monitoring of their activities, adding that they will extend to training gyms where recreational drugs were being used and abused as they contained banned substances.

“Use of recreational drugs is harmful and unfortunately most of its users who are mainly found in gyms don’t have information. Therefore ADAK officials will visit gyms for sensitization which is part of the anti doping agency’s mandate,” he said.

The minister said given the steps Kenya has taken in complying with the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code he has been appointed to be member of the continental anti doping body.

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ADAK chief executive Kiplimo Rugut said the anti doping body needed Sh2.5 billion to implement its 2016/17-2019/20 strategic plan.

“ADAK is still young and only growing teeth and has a lot of ground to cover. With the goodwill of our government and partners we shall succeed,” he said.

He revealed that ADAK has already embarked on a massive anti doping education targeting youth with an objective of sensitizing them.

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