Kenya lauds new strategy in fight against doping by big city marathon organizers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 22:45:50|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has termed as good news in its campaign to have clean sports decision by World Marathon Majors (WMM) and Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to launch intelligence driven testing program.

Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) chairman Japhter Rugut says the move will go a long way in helping the country athletes win clean on the global stage.

"Good news for athletes participating in distance running where Kenya is a major powerhouse. This move will go a long way in supporting ADAK's promotion of clean sport and the fight against doping," Rugut said on Wednesday in Nairobi.

The new initiative comes at a time when Kenya is still fighting the menace that has seen top athletes banned for testing positive to banned substances.

Around 50 Kenyan athletes have failed tests in recent years, including three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong with the latest high profile athlete being world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, whose case is now with an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) disciplinary tribunal and he could be banned for four years if found guilty of doping.

AIU alongside World Marathon Majors, which organizers the marathons in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York, said the new initiative will be based on intelligence and testing in order to uphold the integrity of marathon running.

In accordance with the AIU's recommendation, the program continues to involve a testing pool of 150 elite runners, with a shift to an emphasis on intelligence led testing.

"Kenyans are the most tested athletes and though some have failed, majority run and win clean. We need to join others to fight this scourge," said Jack Tuwei, Athletics Kenya President.

In 2018, the AIU conducted extensive analysis of the risks to the integrity of athletics and road running and consequently devised the program which puts a higher focus on the best elite athletes, utilizing intelligence to ensure that the right athletes are tested at the right time.

"The WMM is proud of its zero-tolerance policy on doping and its proactive work investing in and supporting anti-doping programs. We are constantly reviewing the program with the AIU and the future clearly requires a strong focus on intelligence and investigative capability. We are working with the experts in the AIU to set the pace for road racing," said Tim Hadzima the WMM Executive Director.

The WMM has underlined their commitment for clean sport and set an example for the industry.

"By supporting the enhanced program it will ensure the WMM races are among the very best regulated sporting events in the world when it comes to anti-doping," added David Howman, chairman of the AIU.