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Keitany urges Kenyan authorities to stamp out doping in athletics

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- World marathon record holder Mary Keitany wants the Kenyan Anti-Doping Agency and athletes’ managers to do more to curb rampant doping among Kenyan athletes.

Keitany, who is preparing for a marathon, says the country stands to lose its pedigree on the global scene if more athletes are caught cheating.

Speaking in Iten, the 34-year-old Keitany warned that the country may lose the fight against doping if it does not get proactive and educate more local athletes on the importance of running clean.

“This is getting out of hand. I am telling our coaches and managers to please help fight doping. Our country risks being banned if this vice continues,” Keitany said on Wednesday.

Last week, The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) released details of 120 cases to protect the sport’s integrity and reputation. About 85 of the cases involved Olympic and world championship medalists.

Included in the list is Kenya-based Bahraini athlete Ruth Jebet, Violah Jepchumba and Asbel Kiprop.

“This is affecting us negatively. Our rankings will always be doubted, yet many athletes here want to run and win clean,” she added.

Kenya had been placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) non-compliance list and was only cleared after forming ADAK last year.

However, Keitany has called on the local administration to focus more on chemists and pharmacies selling prohibited substances to athletes. Keitany faulted ADAK for only focusing on elite runners and said the problem is spreading at the grassroots level.

“Unscrupulous doctors have agents in training camps and target young athletes convincing them [that they need to dope] to help them run faster. This is cheating and these unethical doctors must be rooted out,” she added. “These banned drugs have side effects and when these athletes suffer in seclusion, nobody is there to help them.”

AUC is keen on making the fight against doping transparent and encourage more athletes to come forward and reveal their sources. Previously, the outcomes of doping cases were only disclosed once proceedings were complete.



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