NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Athletics Kenya on Monday welcomed the
establishment of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved
laboratory in the country saying the facility will be pivotal in
the fight against the scourge that has tainted the sport.
Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced that the
first-of-its-kind lab in East Africa would start operating in
September after the Lancet Group of Labs East Africa (operating
as Pathologists Lancet Kenya) successfully applied for its
Nairobi laboratory to become WADA approved for Athlete
Biological Passport (ABP) blood analysis.
Having a facility
that can process samples locally will streamline the fight
against a vice that has seen almost 60 Kenyan athletes
sanctioned for doping violation offences in the last five years.
Kenya has been
rocked by surge in doping violation cases with world 800m bronze
medalist Kipyegon Bett the latest runner to be sanctioned after
the AIU confirmed on Friday that he had been provisionally
suspended after testing positive for banned blood booster, EPO.
Bett, the former
world junior champion over the distance, faces another charge of
refusing or failing to submit to sample collection after
reportedly failing twice to cooperate with doping control
Lucy Wangui Kabuu
and Samuel Kalelei have also been charged with doping
violations, while three-time men’s 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop
is waiting for a tribunal to rule on his case after the AIU
confirmed that he had tested positive for EPO in May.