DCI officers investigating doping claims in Iten

The entrance to Kamariny Stadium in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County. Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers are investigating claims by a journalist that doping was rife among athletes at Kamariny Stadium. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

What you need to know:

  • Federation asks anybody with information on doping to share it
  • Athletics Kenya refutes the allegation, terming it attempt to besmirch image of Kenyan athletes
  • Nation Sport visited Iten Police Station but we were referred to Athletics Kenya.

Detectives attached to Iten Police Station in Elgeyo Marakwet County have launched investigations into allegations by a Norwegian journalist that local athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs in the region.

Iten, which hosts a number of local and international athletes, has perfect conditions for training and has produced many athletics stars.

On Saturday, the Norwegian journalist posted images on social media of syringes purported to have been used and left at the ground, indicating that the syringes were found at Kamariny Stadium where athletes had been training before they closed camp due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nation Sport visited Iten Police Station but we were referred to Athletics Kenya. Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers based in Iten confirmed that they have launched investigations into the matter.

The pictures were posted on a social media page called ‘Anti-doping World’ with the title "Sad finding at the stadium in Iten in Kenya.”

“This photo was taken this week at Kamariny stadion in Iten, by one of our (Sport Media) editors. We can proof the date and place on the mobile phones camera,” the social media post said.

BAD LIGHT

“We have noted with concern the images of syringes purported to have been taken in Iten and which have gone viral on social media worldwide. The images posted by a Norwegian journalist, are meant to portray Kenya in a bad light and reverse the gains in the fight against doping,” said AK in a statement.

“While we do not condone doping and work closely with various teams, we do not condone unsubstantiated reports meant to cause confusion and panic within the athlete’s circles. We welcome investigative pieces from wherever part of the world but only when they are backed with facts,” AK added.

AK also challenged authenticity of the images.

“The picture that is doing rounds on social media leaves a lot to be desired including proof of their actual location in Iten. We do not believe that doping in Kenya has reached a level where athletes do it in open fields. We are sorry to say that similar pictures of syringes left in dustbins have been circulated in the past only to turn out that they were stage-managed,” the federation said.

AK also noted that some international media houses have been doing stories to coincide with the major events but since major championships had been postponed, they were resorting to such activities.

“We also encourage anybody with any information concerning doping to officially report to the concerned authorities. For this we ask the journalist to come and identify the place where this incident took place and the persons involved,” AK said.

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