Criminalise doping in Kenya, says Tergat

Wednesday May 13 2020
yator2_pix

Kenya's Vincent Yator reacts after finishing third in the 2018 Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii, USA. Yator was on April 3, 2020 banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit for the presence of a prohibited substance, a violation of the Anti-Doping Rules. PHOTO | HONOLULU MARATHON |

By GEOFFREY ANENE

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat is disappointed with the rising number of doping cases in the country and is advocating for severe punishment for offenders to stop the trend.

Speaking on phone hours after long distance runner Vincent Yator was banned for four years for use of banned substances, Tergat said: “It’s a very sad development.”

“We need our sportspeople to play clean. There’s no shortcut to clean sports except training hard. So many things have been happening right, left and centre regarding doping in Kenya."

"The cases are so rampant not like in my days as a runner. As a nation, we need to come hard on dopers; criminalise this nonsense. Right now, we are in Category A on the list of countries being watched most for doping. We can be banned at anytime, so we need to harmonise our policies to make punishment severe. This will also bar offenders from putting on our national colours and make them ineligible to compete elsewhere.”

Yator was banned on Friday with effect from October 1, 2019 after using prohibited substances.

He also lost all the results of races he took part in from April 10, 2019. Yator joins the long list of Kenyan runners who are serving bans for various doping violations.