Kenya Rugby Woes Far from Over

Diplomat East Africa - - Envoys Of Sport - BY BRIAN MUREITHI

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-

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