Kenya's first major doping case involving a professional footballer has taken a controversial twist with John Kuol Chol now accusing the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) of handling his case in an “unprofessional' manner.”
The Kariobangi Sharks player was last week cleared of any wrongdoing by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) after Adak withdrew a doping-related charge.
He's been allowed to resume playing after serving an indefinite suspension from April when it is alleged a random test on his urine sample reportedly returned positive for a banned substance.
Besides pleading his innocence, Kuol now claims unidentified Adak officials privately called and “begged” him to accept the doping charge so as to receive a “lighter” punishment.
The South Sudan national was cleared after it was proven the sample test was erroneously labelled by Adak officials as having been extracted from an athlete who was “in-competition” at the time.
But Kuol was “out of competition” at that time.
As per the doping test jargon, an in-competition athlete is one who is actively engaged in a sporting activity at the time a sample is extracted from him for testing while an out-of-competition athlete is one who is not actively involved in the sports at the time.
Erroneously labelled it
"The player did not make any mistake. So the suspension was unnecessary," explained Victor Omwembu, Kuol's lawyer.
"They (Adak) should be mindful of the consequences of their inactions. Consequences are harsh on the athletes and Kenya is a third-world country. They have denied him an opportunity to earn a living."
Documents in the possession of Nation Sport indicate Kuol player was out-of-competition at the time the sample was taken as he was not included in his club's match day squad for the league match against Chemelil Sugar at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on March 2 this year.
Nevertheless, Adak officials found him with his colleagues in the dressing room after the game, demanded his urine sample — as is within the law — but erroneously labelled it.
A doping control form in our possession which was filled by Adak officials David Mwaniki and Elizabeth Mulama states the player indicated he had skipped the match because he was 'unwell' and was receiving medication after he suffered a concussion in a previous game versus Vihiga United.
"All I can say is we strive to work and handle our issues in a professional manner and in confidence," Adak's Chief Executive Japhter Rugut said when probed by Nation Sport over these claims.