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Athletes undergo voluntary doping test

Wednesday January 30 2013

By AYUMBA AYODI [email protected]

Thirty  two Kenyan athletes were tested for banned drugs last month in Nairobi and Eldoret, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat has said.

The exercise that was conducted by officials from International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was voluntary and out-of-competition.

Kiplagat clarified that it was not a spontaneous exercise since the athletes had been notified and were to present themselves in either of the two centres for testing. 

“It’s not the first time the IAAF is conducting the tests in the country and it’s normal,” said Kiplagat.

The tests followed allegations of widespread doping by Kenyan athletes made in a German television documentary last year.

Nothing to hide

Athletes have denied any drug taking, and Kiplagat said they took part in the tests because they wanted to show they have nothing to hide.

“There is nothing to hide. Every athlete who had been notified was tested voluntarily, including World 800m champion and record holder David Rudisha, double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot among others,” said Kiplagat.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNDP) will stage a special half marathon race on February 24 in Nairobi to celebrate its achievement and to support peace.

The race, organised by the Paul Tergat Foundation, will be launched tomorrow at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.

Among the guest speakers expected during the launch will be World Marathon record holder Patrick Makau and former World Marathon record holder Paul Tergat, who is a five-time World Cross Country champion.  

Other guests

Others are former women World Marathon record holders Cathrine Ndereba and Tegla Loroupe.

A statement from the Paul Tergat Foundation indicated that some of Kenya’s top runners will race  through the streets of Nairobi alongside members of the public to celebrate the strengthening and upgrading of the UNEP Nairobi office, which makes Nairobi a world environmental capital.

The race will also be held in support of an initiative meant to raise awareness on the need for peaceful elections in Kenya. The 21km race will start at the Kenya Technical Teachers College in Gigiri.

As well as celebrating UNEP’s new universal membership, the race will also be in support of The Sports for Peaceful Elections Campaign, started in January by the UN, the Sports Association, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Google Kenya.