Nairobi, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Kenya must work harder to fight doping and curb its spread in the region.
AIU, which is an independent arm of World Athletics that manages all threats to the integrity of the sport of athletics, is having a four-day seminar in northwestern Kenyan town of Eldoret.
The seminar, which has attracted over 300 elite athletes, aims to sensitize Kenyan and Ugandan athletes against cheating.
Thomas Capdevielle, AIU's head of programs said that a comprehensive investigation is needed on cartels that are aiding doping in Kenya.
"One of the main highlights of the four-day conference will be sessions for road runners from Kenya and neighboring Uganda," said Capdeville during an interview in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Over half of winners in top road races were not part of any out-of-competition anti-doping program in 2018.
"In the same year, we noted that 74 percent of the podium finishers in those Gold Label road races were not included in out-of-competition testing pools in the sport or their countries," said Capdevielle.
Uganda will have athletes represented by world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptege, Solomon Mutai, Stephen Kissa and Jacob Kiplimo.
AIU has a budget of 3.2 million U.S. dollars in their Road Running Integrity Program for next year. There are 262 athletes registered by World Athletics Road Running and Capdevielle said between 40 and 60 athletes will be added to the testing pool in 2020.
Jack Tuwei, president of Athletics Kenya underscored the fact that the country is under international focus because it is still in category 'A' in the fight against doping together with Venezuela, Ethiopia, and Ukraine.
"This seminar is critical in war against doping. It will also cover other subjects, which include ethics and values, taxation, contracts, and athletes-media relations," said Tuwei.
The Athletes' Annual Conference will be held in Eldoret from Wednesday to Friday with the theme of "I Choose Integrity"
Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) Chief Executive Japter Rugut says they have made strides since assuming office three years ago, but there is more to be done.
"It's important to instill ethic values in our athletes at young age, that's why we started a new value-based program and so far we have conducted 22 programs countrywide," Rugut said.
Kenya's Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the country is determined to end the vise and have Kenyan runners win clean on the global stage.
"I'm here to emphasize our commitment to clean sports. That's why we must instill the culture of integrity among our sportsmen and women," Mohamed said.
Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha, who is among the guest speakers said it was critical for the country to maintain clean sports.
"As you are aware we are still in category 'A' that's why we continue to advocate for clean sports. This is an important seminar for athletes. The program will be informative and educative. Sports is an important industry and we must work hard and make it positive. It's good AIU, AK and government came together to help us," said Rudisha.
About 60 Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned for anti-doping rule violations in the past five years. The latest is 17-year-old 800m runner Angela Ndungwa Munguti. Others are 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, 2016 Olympic marathon winner Jemimah Sumgong and former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.