Athletics Kenya confirm use of banned substances
Athletics Kenya (AK) has confirmed allegations leveled by a German journalist of some doctors injecting athletes with banned substances in the Kenya's North Rift region.
AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said the local athletics governing body took seriously the allegations by a German journalist about some doctors injecting banned substances to runners to enhance their performance and swung to action.
"We are working with the Kenya Police and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) to have the culprits arrested for that criminal act," he said.
Kiplagat said they have made progress and before December some of the doctors will have been arrested.
He said the doctors were injecting athletes with banned substances and then in return they get a share of the runner’s earnings incase he/she wins mainly in Iten and Kapsabet.
The chairman said as from next year it will be mandatory for any race organizer to have doping equipment for the event to be licensed as a measure of curbing the use of banned substances.
"Kenyans are usually under a microscope for the good performance internationally and for credibility, we have to ensure that anti doping measures are in place to avoid being suspected," he said.
This was the first time that AK is confirming the allegations after initially dismissing them.
Renowned German sports journalist Hajo Seppelt claims he spent time in various parts of Kenya where he posed as an undercover sports agent and found out that doping is rife not only amongst Kenyan middle and long distance runners and but even with some of the foreign athletes who have been training in the famous high altitude areas of Iten.
According to the report aired on German TV during a sports show ‘Sportschau’ and on radio last Saturday, the journalist linked some Kenyan runners to doctors who perform blood doping which is an illegal method used to boost athletic performance by increasing the number of red blood cells in the body.
The journalist who even named some top Kenyan athletes - Olympic and marathon champions in his show, interviewed a former chairman of the Anti Doping Denmark, Bengt Saltin who alleged to have noted varying changes in some of the Kenyan runners blood levels between 2008-2010 when they raced in Europe, which he argued explains some of the first times and exemplary perfomances in long distance races.
Seppelt further alleges that this malpractice may have gone unnoticed by the International Association of Athletics federation, IAAF as they never carry out doping tests in the country to establish the varied blood levels.
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