Athletics Kenya has expressed satisfaction that the systems put in place by them, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) are working following the suspension of top Kenya elite athletes.
AK president Jackson Tuwei said during a press conference on Friday at Riadha House that the battle against doping will go a notch higher when Parliament passes the bill that will criminalise use of banned substances in the country.
The AK press conference came in the wake of the suspension of former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and 2014 World Under-20 800m champion Alfred Kipketer for doping violation.
On Friday last week, AIU confirmed having provisionally suspended Kipsang, who is also the 2012 London Olympic Marathon bronze medallist for whereabouts failures and tampering with samples.
Kipketer, who won gold in 2014 and silver in 2017 in 4x800m at the World Relay Championships, has also been suspended for his whereabouts failures.
“Our stand on doping is well known and we are now working very closely with AIU, Adak and the government to eliminate the menace. The current investigations and suspensions are happening as a result of our current cooperation with AIU and Adak,” Tuwei said as he allayed fears that Kenya could be banned from taking part in major international events.
Tuwei warned athletes there will be nowhere to hide for drug cheats with the kind of machinery that has been put in place.
“They is nowhere to hide and it’s either they work hard to remain relevant or quit the sport since the anti-doping winds are too strong for those who want to engage in hide and seek,” said Tuwei.
Tuwei, who was flanked by senor deputy vice president Paul Mutwii and AK director in charge youth and development Barnaba Korir, noted that doping is a choice and victims should take responsibility and face the consequences.
“It’s a shame for experienced athletes to fail to manage their whereabouts schedule despite having taken them through several trainings. Either this is an act of ignorance or a deliberate move to take a short cut to stardom,” said Tuwei.
During the Athletes Conference last month in Eldoret, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed disclosed that the government had already formed a team to amend the Anti-Doping laws that will have doping criminalised.
Amina, who failed to state when the laws will be ready, reiterated that athletes reprimanded for doping will never represent the country again.
Tuwei emphasised that those found guilty of doping should plan for their retirement because there will be no second chance.
“We have also decided not to deal with only the consumer but also the source in a bid to end the menace,” added Tuwei.
Tuwei warned foreign coaches working in the country without a permit will be charged before being deported.