What you need to know:
- Uasin Gishu County Governor Jonathan Bii, who received Clothier in his Eldoret office, implored athletes not to use banned performance-enhancing substances since they were already blessed with talent.
- “We have good talent in this region that can take an athlete far, but using the banned substance will always end one’s career and there is need for fair competition.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is happy to see Kenya step up the fight against violation of anti-doping rules.
The AIU is keen to end the doping menace in Kenya that has seen numbers of violators sharply rise with more than 30 athletes flagged down last year alone.
In a press briefing in Eldoret Tuesday, the AIU’s visiting chief executive officer Brett Clothier said the AIU is happy the Kenyan government is fully involved in the fight.
He also lauded Athletics Kenya (AK) for teaming up with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) and the Ministry of Sports in making sure many athletes see the need to have clean sport.
“We have doping menace across the world but we are glad that Kenya is on the forefront in fighting the menace.
“The government of Kenya has pledged five million (US) dollars every year and we are working on strategies on how to restore the athletics integrity in Kenya," said Clothier.
AK President Jack Tuwei said Kenya is moving in the right direction in fighting the anti-doping rules violation stressing the need for clean sport.
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He said that Kenya was almost suspended from global competition due to the rise in doping cases, but was given another chance to make sure the numbers are reduced.
"We want to make sure we reach out even to the athletes support personnel so that we can totally eradicate the problem,” said Tuwei.
He said AK will meet with Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and present a report “which will be a turning point for the doping menace.”
He stressed that the meeting with the minister will be the beginning of a new chapter in the fight that has been raised to unprecedented levels.
World Athletics President Seb Coe visited Kenya in January this year and promised to support the country in the fight against anti-doping rules violation “since the government had also shown commitment.
Uasin Gishu County Governor Jonathan Bii, who received Clothier in his Eldoret office, implored athletes not to use banned performance-enhancing substances since they were already blessed with talent.
“We have good talent in this region that can take an athlete far, but using the banned substance will always end one’s career and there is need for fair competition.
“Training hard and winning easily should be encouraged at all times,” he said. The governor also said that there is need to certify coaches because “some of them have ill motives and don’t have right documentation.”
Clothier also met with athletes at the Lobo Village in Kapseret, Eldoret, where he fielded questions.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge urged athletes not to be thinking of money, but a career that is before them so as to later enjoy during their retirement.
"The federation should instill discipline by asking athletes to run and make it a career.
“Let's always respect our values and the sport shall be where our fathers left it. Make our sport clean and fair.
"I'm a value-oriented athlete and that is why I have been able to run for 20 years and I'm still going strong. Money is what has led to short cuts," said Kipchoge.
He also said that many athletes have been attending anti-doping seminars but go back home without any knowledge about the need to run clean.
Patrick Sang, Joseph Cheromei, Barnabas Kitilit, Elkana Ruto among others are some of the coaches who attended the session.
Clothier will also be interacting with athletes and coaches in Kapsabet (Nandi County) and Iten (Elgeyo Marakwet County) Wednesday.
He was accompanied by Athletics Kenya Youth Development Director Barnaba Korir and Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai among other officials.