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Doping case shows Kenya is sitting on ticking time bomb

Wednesday November 5 2014

Women’s World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series champion Rita Jeptoo leaves Riadha House on November 4, 2014. We can only pray that Rita Jeptoo’s Sample ‘B’ test comes out negative to help our case or else, I see the world’s cameras trailing Kenyans all the way to next year’s World Championships in China. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Women’s World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series champion Rita Jeptoo leaves Riadha House on November 4, 2014. We can only pray that Rita Jeptoo’s Sample ‘B’ test comes out negative to help our case or else, I see the world’s cameras trailing Kenyans all the way to next year’s World Championships in China. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

BARNABAS KORIR
By BARNABAS KORIR
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I have tried to ignore the doping saga among Kenyan athletes but unfortunately it keeps popping up.

I will not pretend to be an expert on the subject. Instead, I will take a layman’s stand.

Kenyans are taking the subject very lightly without realising we are sitting on a time bomb.

For the last one year, many especially in the athletics fraternity have tried to play politics with the issue but I would like to warn them that this is no laughing matter and the consequences could be grave.

I know what such stories can do and we have already started feeling the heat following recent bans.

It is surprising that when Mathew Kisorio was banned, we didn’t take the matter seriously. Even leads given by the  athlete were swept under the carpet.

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I remember Kisorio claiming there is a doctor in Eldoret who is promoting doping among  athletes but we have never bothered to launch serious investigations into the matter.

The Kenya Anti-Doping Agency has done some investigation but the impact of their recommendations is yet to be felt across the athletics fraternity.

ORGANISERS WARY

According to the rumour mill, race organisers are said to be weighing their options in as far as inviting Kenyans for races is concerned.

This is because the world has always believed that Kenyans are clean and their invitation has always been based on this but race organisers are now considering reducing the number of our athletes attending international  meetings.

Not all Kenyan runners engage in doping and the few cases so far witnessed will spoil the reputation of our athletics industry.

We can only pray that Rita Jeptoo’s Sample ‘B’ test comes out negative to help our case or else, I see the world’s cameras trailing Kenyans all the way to next year’s World Championships in China.

We must rectify the situation and revive the good old days when Kenyans were just the best. I will not blame managers or coaches in this case.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

I guess there is collective responsibility and we must all be seen to be playing a role to stop the menace. And for the runners, athletics is a career that has to be nurtured at all costs.

Athletes have to be responsible for own destiny.

Doping is a personal choice and before doing it, one must consider the consequences. The World Anti-Doping Agency has tightened the dragnet on drug cheats and one can only opt for that route at his or her own peril.

It is unfortunate doping is claiming current generation of athletes due to greed. Everyone wants to win and break a record in a hurry, but at whose expense?

AK has to lead from the front through seminars among young runners. Passing the buck will not help.

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