NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 1- Athletics Kenya (AK) chief Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei now wants athletes who are found guilty to have tested positive for doping be dismissed from employment and prosecuted.
Tuwei told the National Assembly Sports, Tourism and Culture Committee that the country should not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available on positive doping tests in many sporting disciplines.
“Doping should actually be criminalized in this country. An athlete has gone through the whole process provided for in the Anti-Doping Act, and is employed in government or any parastatal should no longer exist in that employment because it is a criminal act,” Tuwei told the MPs.
“Secondly we are recommending that the government should actually take them to court because if any other drugs are not allowed in this country and this banned substances which have gone through the country have, they should now be criminalized taken to court like any other,” he added.
The Anti-Doping Act currently imposes a Sh100,000 fine with a possibility of a one year jail sentence for athletes caught doping while those caught smuggling or administering banned substances face a 3 million Shilling fine or a three-year jail term.
The AK President had accompanied Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Japhter Rugut to respond to petition in which South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi demanded an audit report of Kenyan athletes who have tested positive and the achievement the country has so far realised after the Anti-doping law enacted in 2016.
In his petition, Murungi argues that as a leading country in long distance races, Kenya has not done much to implement the Anti-Doping laws, which created ADAK to protect athletes’ fundamental rights to participate in doping free sport as well as promoting fairness and equality for athletes in Kenya.
The latest athlete to test positive is the World 800m bronze medalist Kipyegon Bett, who tested positive for banned blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in August.
Bett joins a long list of Kenyan athletes who have tested positive to banned substances. They include: Milan Marathon winner Lucy Kabuu, Samuel Kalalei, (2017 Athens Marathon winner), former Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.
Others are 2016 Olympic marathon winner Jemima Sumgong and former Boston City Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.