New York Marathon winners Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany want the Government and Athletics Kenya to urgently identify and rein in individuals promoting doping among Kenyan athletes.
Kipsang, a former World Marathon record holder and Keitany, a former World Half Marathon record holder, said they were shocked when they heard that their compatriot Rita Jeptoo had failed a doping test just before Sunday’s New York Marathon.
Kipsang and Keitany went on to win the race, but news of Jeptoo’s failed test overshadowed their victory.
Jeptoo’s ‘A’ Sample tested positive for blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test mid September before she won the Chicago Marathon on October 12 to claim the women’s World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series title and a Sh44.6 million bonus.
Kipsang said the news didn’t affect him in the race but he was saddened since he has always advocated for victory without blemish in sports.
“We have always wanted athletes to train and win fair without using banned substances,” said Kipsang upon arrival on Tuesday night from New York.
“Credibility of some elite athletes who post good times while competing clean comes to doubt when such things happen,” said Kipsang who is the president of the newly-fomed Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK).
“We want the Government to take it seriously and investigate deeply and if there is a cartel involved, let it be broken for the sake of athletes.”
Kipsang said most athletes are not aware of doping issues, adding that PAAK will help sensitise them about the vice.
“Many athletes are unaware of banned drugs but PAAK will endeavour to educate all runners about doping,” said Kipsang, who also claimed the WMM Series win and Sh44.6m bonus.
The WMM awards ceremony that was to take place after the New York Marathon was deferred after Jeptoo’s failed doping test.
The 2011 and 2012 London Marathon winner, Keitany, who was making a comeback from maternal leave, said AK should take action on doping cases because it was painting a bad image on clean athletes.
“We have to be serious on this matter before it completely gets out of hand,” said Keitany, who dedicated her comeback victory to her daughter Samatha.
Kipsang, who brushed aside the struggling Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa in the last few metres to win in 2:10:59, said he was determined to reclaim the world marathon record after winning three in events in the WMM in Berlin, London and New York.