Anxious moments gripped Team Kenya’s naming for the World Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday when winners in key events were dropped with some disciplines not having full squads.
Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) anti-doping regulations seem to have hit Team Kenya selection hard.
The regulations require those hoping to compete at the World Championships to have undergone three out-of-competition and one in-competition doping tests.
Notably, the three out-of-competition tests for both urine and blood must include at least one Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) test and one Erythropoietin (Epo) test.
All such tests are to be conducted not less than three weeks apart and the results recorded in the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS). Men’s 5,000 metres trials winner Michael Kibet and national 5,000m champion Daniel Simiyu, who finished second, were locked out for not fulfilling AIU requirements.
That left Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli as the only representative in the men’s 5,000m with Athletics Kenya (AK) promising to take up Kibet’s and Simiyu’s cases with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
AK director in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii said they have already written to the AIU explaining that Kibet and Simiyu just came to the limelight recently, hence not being "part of their AIU testing pool.”
“There is that window for such cases and we hope to get a response from AIU as fast as possible and that is why we didn’t want to make replacements,” said Mutwii, adding that if AIU sticks to its guns, then they will draw back to available athletes from the trials.
Mutwii’s colleague at the AK executive, Barnaba Korir, had earlier indicated that they would invoke Rule 15 of IAAF which provides a window for such situations where an unknown athlete, or talent, crops up and isn't in the AIU testing pool.
The stringent rules saw AK name only two athletes in women’s 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m, despite having the provision of naming three in the two-lap race and four in the 1,500m and 5,000m.
CHIRCHIR LEFT OUT
Also hit hard is 400m hurdler Nicholas Chirchir, who has not been selected over the same issues.
Chirchir was the only qualifier in the event.
The 2017 World Under-18 Championships 800m champion Jackline Wambui and 2013 world 800m champion Eunice Sum will fly the Kenyan flag in the women’s 800m.
Wambui stunned Sum to second place to win the trials as Emily Cherotich, who finished third, got locked out over the AIU regulations.
Faith Chepng'etich, who affirmed that she is back and in fine form to defend her world 1,500m title, was picked alongside the Intercontinental Cup champion Winnie Chebet in the women’s 1,500m team.
WILL DOUBLE UP
Kenya had the provision of fielding four athletes, but Sela Jepleting and Judy Jepng’etich, who finished third and fourth, were locked out.
African Games 5,000m champion Lilian Kasait and former Africa 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo, who finished first and second in women’s 5,000m, get to join world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri at the Doha event. Sheila Chelagat, who finished third gets to miss out owing to the AIU regulations.
Interestingly, Emmanuel Korir, who was beaten by the little-known Ng’eno Kipng’etich in men’s 800m, will double up in men’s 400m where he joins national 400m champion Alphas Kishoyian, who is also in 4x400m mixed relay.
Africa Under-20 Championships and national 400m champion Mary Moraa will compete in the 400m and 4x400m mixed relay that has Kishoyian, Alex Sampao, Joseph Poghisio and Gladys Musyoki.