Athletics Kenya President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has revealed that athletes who will be selected to the national team after the National Cross Country Championships must sign commitment letters for clean sport.
Tuwei urged athletes to always practice clean sport in a bid to eradicate the doping menace which has tainted the name of the country.
Tuwei was addressing more than 400 athletes who turned up for the anti-doping seminar organized by AK in conjunction with Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) at the Noble Hotel in Eldoret on Friday.
"Kenya has been ranked in category A as country where doping is rampant and this has painted a bad picture in our country. We are going to introduce commitment letters which will be signed by the athletes in a bid to make the sport clean," said Tuwei.
He also asked those registered at the testing pool to always avail their whereabouts which is important for testing.
"Athletes who are in the testing pool should always update the report because it's mandatory to be tested. Others have been giving the Adak officials a hard time which is a crime," added Tuwei.
The athletes who attended the seminar will be participating in the National Cross Country Championships at the Eldoret Sports Club on Saturday which will be used to select a team that will represent Kenya at the 43rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark next month.
Adak’s Director of Research and Education Agnes Mandu said that they have been able to enlighten many athletes but they are targeting more.
“As department of education we are guided by a work plan and we have been able to reach a number of athletes but we will be educating more this year in a bid to fight this monster called doping,” said Mandu.
Mandu also said that they will be targeting athletics camps to sensitise athletes and support staff this year.
“We have started a program with the athletics camps and we shall be visiting them and their support staff in a bid to educate them more and make them aware that the prohibition list is updated every year,” she said.
Mandu also said they are currently working with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to include doping in the curriculum.
“Young children should be educated at an early age and this will bring out values when they grow knowing that the practice is bad. We shall start with grade one to three and then later roll out to the other grades,” said Mandu.
More than 100 local athletes have been banned since 2004 notably who marathon stars Rita Jeptoo, former Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong as well as three-time men’s 1,500m World champion Asbel Kiprop who is under provisional suspension.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) Intelligence and Investigations department described doping cases in Kenya as serious and ranked the country among the top three nations with high cases of doping in the world.