Kenya Rugby Woes Far from Over
The storm surrounding the Kenya Sevens rugby squad after senior players went on strike and walked out of the Safaricom sevens and the International Rugby Board (IRB) Gold Coast series amid charges of fraudulent dealings seems far from over.
A task force appointed by the Kenyan government to investigate doping claims in sports reported that the team’s Head coach Paul Treu and five of his coaching staff had fed the players food supplements that were found to contain steroids.
But Treu vehemently denied the report terming it unfounded and unfortunate. He vowed to seek legal advice on what he said was defamatory information. “When I arrived, players were taking the supplements. We decided just as we had done in South Africa, not to endorse the taking of supplements of any kind and resolved to focus on proper nutrition,” he said.
The World Anti -Doping Agency pressured the Kenya government to investigate the doping claims after German broadcaster ARD aired a documentary in 2012 which controversial accused East African athletes of cheating.
The task force then decided to widen its net to other sports including rugby. The report was released by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr Hassan Wario and it recommended disciplinary action against Treu and the five of his staff alongside the 15s rugby team head coach.
It was chaired by Professor Moni Wekesa and it stated that rugby coaches had fed the players a ‘concoction’ to drink at the beginning and end of each training session. They stopped taking it a few days before tournaments.
The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) was promptly informed of the findings leading to more controversy and anxiety that is likely affect its performances in future tournaments.
The staff recommended for disciplinary action alongside Treu is Strength Building Coach Graham Bentz, Assistant Coach Felix Ochieng and Attacking Coaches Michael Owino and George Kimani. Others are Jerome Paarwater of the 15s side and his assistants Charles Ngovi, Paul Murunga and Richard Ochieng.
The report further alleges that former 7s coach Mike Friday had also used supplements and when the former Springboks coach was appointed in November last year, he came up with his own food regime such as Evox.
The supplements were subsequently taken for laboratory analysis and found to contain steroids. It further stated that KRU has been administering the supplements to the players without knowing its contents.
Then also took issue with the opaqueness of the report stating that no player was tested by the task force. He said neither he nor any member of his coaching staff was interviewed or invited to sub-