Age-cheating athletes caught during the national trials for the World Under-18 Championships will be punished alongside their coaches and managers, Athletics Kenya (AK) warned Wednesday.
AK youth committee secretary Barnaba Kitilit said that proper vetting will be done the day before the national trials planned for June 13-14 at the Nyayo National Stadium ahead of the World Under-18 Championships set for July 12-16 at Kasarani.
Kitilit said that the two-day trials will also be used to select Team Kenya for the Africa Under-20 Championships slated for June 29 to July 2 July in Tlemcen, Algeria.
“We want to have genuine youth and juniors taking part in the Nairobi and Tlemcen events and we can’t afford to go against that,” said Kitilit.
“We shall disqualify and punish the athletes who will be caught cheating together with their handlers.”
Kitilit said that close to 318 athletes, who were selected in different events during the pre-trials for the World Under-18, will take part in the trials.
During the pre-trials, 18 boys and a similar number of girls were selected in 3,000m while 18 boys and a similar number of girls were picked in 2,000m steeplechase.
Fifteen boys and a similar number of were picked in 1,500m and 800m had 12 boys and the same number of girls.
Field and sprints events that total to 12 had eight participants being selected in the boys and girls categories each.
Kitilit explained that they have requested primary and secondary schools to select their best two athletes in each event for the youth trials.
The boys and girls will compete in 20 events each at the World Under-18.
Kitilit said it will not be possible to put the selected athletes during the pre-trials in a camp owing to challenges in logistics.
“It is tricky to have a camp since some are in school while others in camps. We shall assist in training coordination ahead of the trials,” said Kitilit, adding that not all the field events have the maximum of eight entrants because of quality and standard issues.