Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei on Saturday joined in congratulating Mary Keitany for shattering the women’s only world marathon record and quickly denied reports that a “top” Kenyan athlete was in the cross hairs of anti-doping authorities for failing a test.
Tuwei said he was extremely happy with Keitany’s achievement and with the fact that many top Kenyan marathon runners were keen on being drafted in Kenya’s team to the IAAF World Championships in London in August. He said AK’s selectors will sit next week to pick Kenya’s marathon team for the London championships.
“We were waiting for the London Marathon before regrouping to pick the team for the London World Championships,” Tuwei told the Nation Sport.
The AK President said he was surprised to see viral reports attributed to him to the effect that another high profile Kenyan had been busted for cheating.
“There is no such thing. This has created anxiety and many athletes are worried, but I wish to state that we have received no such information, and there’s no need to get worried,” he assured.
“If anyone is found, there are procedures to be followed and there’s a confidentiality clause... so these reports I’m seeing are not true."
He said AK is focusing on educating athletes and making sure proper procedures are followed every time.
Last week, AK released a statement expressing concern over doping, and advising athletes to be on the lookout.
“Athletics Kenya has been closely monitoring athletes’ competitions, performance and behaviour,” the statement said. “In the last less than one month we got sad news surrounding Olympic Women’s Marathon champion, Jemimah Sumgong who failed a doping test recently.
“We at Athletics Kenya want to put it on record that we condemn cheating in sport in general, whether by faking age of athletes, bribing officials or partaking of performance-enhancing substances in the strongest terms possible.”
AK said athletes will be held responsible for any doping offences and, in consultation with relevant authorities, the federation “will not hesitate to evoke the laws of the land to deal with these offences.”
“Doping is a criminal offence in Kenya now and those involved in this heinous act, which is threatening the lives of our athletes, will face the full force of law,” the statement added.
“We also wish to send a very strong message to athletes representatives, doctors, coaches and all athletes support personnel that those found culpable or proved to be encouraging our athletes in this line of sporting subterfuge will be charged as prescribed by the law of the land.”