Elite runners from Kenya admits doping in the ARD
Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio is a world class athlete - and he has doped. ARD-doping expert Hajo Seppelt and television writer Robert Kempe have gone with the assistance of the ARD correspondent Jochen Tassler on the trail of the Long Distance Runner and met the 23-year-old, tenth of the Boston Marathon. In an interview with ARD Kisorio was the first Kenyan athlete to publicly admit the use of banned substances.
Hajo Seppelt Interview with sportschau.de about the background, knowledge, and the anti-doping campaign in Kenya:
Mr. Seppelt, how has it come to the meeting with Mathew Kisorio?
Seppelt: We have researched in Kenya for several months on possible doping practices. Once there, we already made some curious observations, in parallel to the number of doping cases that were clearly evident in Kenya. One case was Mathew Kisorio. He is an absolute world-class runner who runs 10,000 m in under 27 minutes. On 14 June he was at the Kenyan Championships in Nairobi and tested positive for a steroid. Then we tried in Kenya, to get at him, which we succeeded. In the interview he was the first Kenyan to admit that he have manipulated on a grand scale.
For what reasons he has entrusted to you?
Seppelt: He apparently hopes that he gets, through the elucidation of the facts, a reduced ban by the National Association of Kenya. Therefore, he has gone on the offensive and has spoken to us.
Why did he drugged?
Seppelt: He claims that he was incited by his doctor. With better results, which are easier by doping, an athlete earned money. The doctor wanted to have his share. The doctor has apparently given him injections of banned substances and also tablets. One of these tablets led to the alleged positive test.
Is Kisorio an isolated incident or is this coming from a system?
Seppelt: Kisorios statements give the impression that not only he is affected, but it is a common phenomenon in Kenya. His credo is that many doctors in Kenya all over the country work with athletes. Including the doctor, with whom he was dealing, is said to have looked after other world class athletes too. May also Olympic participants. The doctors can be seen in places where preferred athletes live, such as in the training camps in the highlands. His observations on this practice are, that this is not an isolated phenomenon, but is wide spread all over Kenya. The athletes are more or less the victim of a profit-driven medical profession, he says.
Do you think this likely?
Seppelt: I can not imagine that the coaches and managers, who come mainly from Europe by the way, know nothing about it. But he did not accuse them in this interview.
In the Kenyan Olympic team, there was no positive test. What significance does this have?
Seppelt: In these Olympic games was not a single positive in-competition test. All previous cases of doping at this Olympics are due to pre-Olympic tests, ie outside the direct control of Olympic competition. But that's nothing special. In the competition controls only the dumbest get caught, because the (doping) products are already out of the (body) system by then. Nonetheless, the credibility of the Kenyan athletics is shaken. Moreover, no one can longer claim that this "Laufwunder" à la East Africa can be explained only b/c of the highland, good food and the running culture. It also plays an important role. But you must realize that certain substances are also a part.
What type doping is it exactly?
Seppelt: In Kisorio´s case it is steroids. But he also speaks of seemingly EPO injections, ie, blood doping, and also of (doping) products that stimulate the mind.
How is the anti-doping campaign in Kenya organized?
Seppelt: Certainly not optimal. There is now a Kenyan Anti-Doping Agency. But they can test only on a minimal level due to lack of funds in the country. The biggest problem is that in Kenya there are no blood tests, b/c of logistical reasons they are not feasible. This is obviously distressing, especially b/c Kenyan runners are world class since many years in the middle and long distance races. They are sometimes tested when they are running in europe. But never in their own country.