Kenya ath­letes call for anti-dop­ing ac­tion

For­mer Rus­sian marathon star re­ceives ex­tended dop­ing ban


Top Kenyan ath­letes have called for the na­tional gov­ern­ing body, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion (IAAF) and the world’s anti-dop­ing body WADA to take ac­tion over re­ports of wide­spread dop­ing.

For­mer world marathon record­holder Wil­son Kip­sang, who is also the chair­man of the Pro­fes­sional Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion of Kenya ( PAAK), said the re­ports that more than 800 ath­letes, in­clud­ing 18 Kenyans, had “sus­pi­cious blood test re­sults” be­tween 2001 and 2012 was dam­ag­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the sport.

“This is­sue of dop­ing is not go­ing down well for us, es­pe­cially when the re­port is re­leased just be­fore the world cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing,” said Kip­sang, who is one of three Kenyans en­tered in the men’s marathon event.

“As the pres­i­dent of PAAK, I be­lieve it is time for the ath­letes of this coun­try to work to­gether to make sure that we con­trol the is­sue of dop­ing,” he said late Thurs­day.

“At the same time we should also re­spect the body given the man­date to take con­trol of such is­sues.”

Ear­lier this month, leaked re­sults from 12,000 blood tests taken from 5,000 com­peti­tors al­legedly demon­strated in­stances of cheat­ing, ac­cord­ing to media re­ports on the data­base, re­port­edly cre­ated by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF).

Ger­man broad­caster ARD as well as Bri­tain’s Sun­day Times say they passed on their in­for­ma­tion to lead­ing blood dop­ing ex­perts who con­cluded that track and field is in “the same di­a­bol­i­cal po­si­tion to­day that pro­fes­sional cy­cling was 20 years ago.”

Kenya was rocked this year when marathon star Rita Jep­too

For­mer Rus­sian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova’s dop­ing ban was ex­tended by 14 months to March 2016 by sport’s high­est court on Thurs­day fol­low­ing an ap­peal by the IAAF.

Shobukhova’s two-year sus­pen­sion by the Rus­sian ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion was to end in Jan­uary, but the IAAF ap­pealed to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport, cit­ing “ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances.”

She was orig­i­nally guilty of ab­nor­mal bi­o­log­i­cal pass­port val­ues.

CAS ex­tended her ban, and rat­i­fied the ini­tial agree­ment to dis­qual­ify all of her re­sults from Oct. 9, 2009, in­clud­ing wins in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago Marathons, and a 2010 win and 2011 sec­ond place in the Lon­don Marathon. Those re­sults helped her to the ma­jor marathon se­ries was banned for two years af­ter be­ing caught dop­ing with the banned blood-boost­ing hor­mone EPO.

Jep­too is the big­gest name in Kenyan sports ever to have been caught, and the bust has been a ma­jor trauma for a coun­try that idol­izes its medal-win­ning and record-break­ing run­ners.

But Kenyans have also sought to point the fin­ger of blame at for­eign coaches in the coun­try.

For­mer New York marathon win­ner, Tegla Loroupe, said the Kenyan gov­ern­ment has to be tough on for­eign­ers com­ing to the coun­try to man­age Kenyan ath­letes.

“It shame­ful that our ath­letes are get­ting in­volved in drugs. I be­lieve ti­tles in 2010 and 2012.

The Lon­don Marathon stripped Shobukhova of those re­sults, and of­fi­cially con­firmed Ase­le­fech Mer­gia of Ethiopia as the 2010 win­ner.

“We will take ac­tion through the English courts to re­cover the prize and ap­pear­ance money paid to Shobukhova in 2010 and 2011,” Nick Bi­tel, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Lon­don Marathon, said in a state­ment.

Bi­tel added that any money re­cov­ered will be re­al­lo­cated to right­ful win­ners. But un­der IAAF rules, those ath­letes are not el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive the prize money un­til Shobukhova re­pays what she re­ceived.

Last De­cem­ber, Ger­man tele­vi­sion net­work ARD and French sports daily l’Equipe al­leged Shobukhova paid the Rus­sian ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion US$495,000 to cover up a dop­ing test. dur­ing my time there were pos­i­tive cases,” said Loroupe, who like the oth­ers, was speak­ing at the end of a 22-day peace walk across north­ern Kenya.

“These neg­a­tive re­ports do not only spoil the names of the cur­rent ath­letes but also cast doubts over the per­for­mances of the past.”

Oth­ers re­peated the need for stronger rules over for­eign coaches.

“We need to have a full con­trol over our ath­letes,” said 1987 World marathon cham­pion Dou­glas Waki­ihuri. “We need to have a good con­trol of our ath­letes, we were very free in this coun­try and al­low any­body to come and take charge of the ath­letes.”

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