Athletes travelling abroad for competition without registering with the governing bodies pose a major threat to the fight against doping, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) fears.
Adak’s chief executive Japhter Rugut said many runners are flying abroad under various sponsored programmes without notifying the governing agencies only to be subjected to doping by their managers.
“At times, runners go overseas under church, education or other sponsored programmes without registering with the relevant government bodies as athletes. When a mistake happens out there, the world sees Kenya, and not that individual,” he said.
He urged sportsmen and women to register with government established sports agencies not only to ease their monitoring, but also for their welfare, especially when competing abroad.
He was speaking this during a sports stakeholders retreat at Aberdare Country Club in Nyeri on Tuesday. Rugut added that Adak is mapping a way of accessing upcoming runners at the village level to ensure they understand the importance of fair sport.
“We plan push down the anti-doping awareness campaign to village level so that our young talents can rise knowing the dangers that comes with the vice,” he added.
He dispelled claims that Kenyan athletes are being unfairly targeted by anti-doping agencies worldwide arguing that the country is an athletic giant and therefore attracts a lot of scrutiny.
“In Kenya, the emphasis is mainly on athletics because of our dominance on global championships. So is the case for those countries which are strong in football or even volleyball,” said Rugut.