What you need to know:
- Junior athletes’ national head coach Robert Ng’isirei said that the seminar is the right thing to do.
- He also said that the Under-20 category of athletes is the right age where athletes get knowledge while in school and they need to know more about doping and its attendant problems.
Athletics Kenya (AK) in collaboration with Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has started education forums across the country to sensitise upcoming athletes on the dangers of doping in the sport.
The seminars will be targeting 600 junior athletes aged below 20 years old in a bid end the doping menace.
They are the focus because they will be graduating to the senior ranks and need to cultivate a culture of “clean sports”.
AK Youth Development Director Barnaba Korir said Monday that doping has been on the rise, and recently many Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned.
Therefore, the problem needs to be addressed while athletes are still at a tender age.
“This programme has been initiated by the federation and AIU. Our goal is to make sure we teach the junior athletes the need for running clean because it is easier to bring them up to speed about performance enhancing drugs. This is the right age and we are targeting more 600 across the country,” said Korir in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.
He added that the federation and stakeholders will take all the necessary steps in order to rectify the situation which he said was getting out of hand.
“Top athletes who understand the need to practise clean sports are the ones who have been caught yet they have been taken through education and they understand. Some athletes are taking a gamble and using banned substances and the system is now catching up with them,” he said.
Korir warned that if the athletes continue using performance enhancing drugs, Kenya will be banned and that will affect sportsmen and women directly as well as all the people who depend on the sport.
Korir also said that Kenya has been on the AIU watch list and that is why many athletes are being caught and that is why the federation is taking steps to arrest the situation.
He said that the juniors are more receptive to information compared to the seniors athletes who already know what they are doing.
“We don’t have any other choice other than provide information so that we can reduce and eradicate this menace totally. It is sad that almost every week an athlete from Kenya is flagged down, and this has to stop,” said Korir.
Junior athletes’ national head coach Robert Ng’isirei said that the seminar is the right thing to do.
He also said that the Under-20 category of athletes is the right age where athletes get knowledge while in school and they need to know more about doping and its attendant problems.