Paula Radcliffe: Agents to blame for high doping cases

 Paula Radcliffe

Former marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe addresses the media at EKA Hotel, Nairobi on December 19, 2021.

Photo credit: Ayumba Ayodi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Shoe4Africa founder Toby Tanser said that the symbolic groundbreaking that will be presided over by Radcliffe at the end of the 80km relay in Eldoret. 
  • "I have managed to raise funds that will enable the completion of the hospital that will have 152 beds within one year," said Tanser, adding that the project is supported by the government that has donated the land for construction.

Athletes’ agents and managers have fueled the rising cases of doping, former marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe claimed Sunday.

Radcliffe, a three-time world half marathon and world cross country champion, said that the fight against doping will not be won if the focal point will only be on athletes and not the real troublemakers.

She noted that agents and managers, in most cases, push the athletes to the edge, forcing them to take illegal substances just to satiate their hunger for money. 

“We must take on the agents and managers since they are the people making the most money out of athletes,” said Radcliffe.

“They are the biggest part of the doping scourge as they push athletes, some of them young, to take performance enhancing drugs.”

Radcliffe said affected athletes are  left to pay heavily, suffer and fall from grace to grass as the agents take all the money.

However, Radcliffe acknowledged that doping has become an intricate affair that will need proper approach especially when it comes to the education part of the athletes. 

“We need to start educating the young athletes on the dangers brought by doping and that one can still win without taking illegal substances, “said Radcliffe, adding that when she started her career, doping was there but everybody knew it was wrong.

“Nowadays athletes are also being given the justification that it’s right because some athletes do it. It can never be okay since not everyone dopes, “said Radcliffe, explaining that the world must tell upcoming athletes that doping is cheating and it’s bad.

Radcliffe explained that doping robs genuine athletes of their moment of glory and opportunity.

“By doping you are also robbing yourself of knowing how truly good you can be. You can be proud owning something that doesn’t belong to you, “said Radcliffe.

Radcliffe was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference at Eka Hotel, Nairobi, where she briefed the media on her forthcoming Community Social Responsibility mission in Kenya.

Through her Paula’s Families on Track website, she has been raising funds towards the construction of the Shoe4Africa Children’s Cancer Hospital in Eldoret.

The funds are being raised through the Equator 80km Relay set to take place from Timboroa to Eldoret and across the world on December 24.

Already, 147 teams from across the world have registered and managed to raise over Sh600,000 for the project that will cost Sh400m. 

Radcliffe indicated that the races that can be held anywhere in the world, but covering 80km will go on until December 30 this year, but the fundraising that started on November 20 will continue. 

Shoe4Africa founder Toby Tanser said that the symbolic groundbreaking that will be presided over by Radcliffe at the end of the 80km relay in Eldoret. 

"I have managed to raise funds that will enable the completion of the hospital that will have 152 beds within one year," said Tanser, adding that the project is supported by the government that has donated the land for construction.

Several former and active Kenyan athletes will grace the event including legendary Kipchoge Keino, Eliud Kipchoge, Catherine Ndereba, David Rudisha, Sally Barsosio, Benjamin Limo, Moses Tanui, Kiptanui, Janeth Jepkosgei and Mary Keitany among others.

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