International Athletics

Doping crisis grave - Kiplagat

2015-01-09 16:20

Nairobi - The head of Kenya's athletics governing body said on Friday that a crisis over doping among the east African nation's fabled distance runners was "as bad as HIV/Aids".

Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat, who has been fending off allegations of failing to take the issue seriously, promised to put in place stringent domestic anti-doping test procedures.

The crisis in Kenyan sports follows the disgrace of top female marathoner Rita Jeptoo, a two-time Chicago and Boston winner who was caught using the blood-boosting drug EPO.

"This doping issue is just as bad as Aids. This will be a serious elaborate exercise. We will roll out an educative programme such as the one Kenya launched when HIV/Aids was first detected," Kiplagat told reporters.

Biological passports

"We plan to have our own doping control officers to nab the athletes locally," he said, adding that Athletics Kenya would partner the newly-launched Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) to conduct random in-competition and out-of-competition testing.

Other measures to be put in place include a lifetime ban on any sports agent or coach who has three athletes in their stable who test positive for doping, plus the mandatory introduction of biological passports - which monitor changes in blood make-up - for all elite athletes.

Kenya's sports bosses have been accused of inaction on the doping issue, which has cast a shadow over the record-breaking and medal-winning achievements of its distance runners - who are a major source of national pride.

Disciplinary panel

They have also cast the current crisis as being a result of what they insist are dishonest foreign agents and coaches who are "corrupting" Kenyan runners.

Jeptoo is the biggest name in Kenyan athletics to have been busted for cheating and will appear before a disciplinary panel next week.

She is expected to face a two-year ban and be stripped of her recent titles.

Jeptoo tested positive for EPO, which can massively increase endurance and recovery times during intense training, in an out-of-competition test in Kenya last September. A test of her "B" sample, conducted at the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Lausanne in December, confirmed the presence of the drug.

Read more on:    kenya  |  doping

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.