Kenya Faces Probable Ban From The Olympics Over Athletics Doping


Kenya has missed a deadline to prove to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) it is tackling cheating in athletics – BBC News

Athletics Doping is not a new crime in the global sporting industry. It is the use of illegal substances often called performance enhancing drugs prior to athletic sporting events. These substances are usually steroidal, and as such, prompt hormonal and physiological alterations with the intention of achieving a particular purpose. In the world of sports, athletes commit this crime to attain ‘success’.

Athletics Doping in one word is cheating and no matter how we look at it or try to justify it, it is still what it is – cheating. Honesty they say is the best policy but unfortunately, very many spheres of life witnesses less of it as the day goes by. But it only takes common sense to see the other side of cheating, someone else is unfairly affected.

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The sports body in charge of checking this crime, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has placed Kenya “on a ‘watch-list’ of nations at risk of breaching the agency’s code.” The agency has issued a two-months deadline which expired on Thursday – for Kenya to bring in new legislation and funding to that effect. If they fail, then the East African country known for her ‘talented’ runners who have won seven gold medals at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing will possibly face a ban from the Olympics which kicks off in Brazil later in the year.

Rita Jeptoo

In 2 years, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has conducted 112 blood tests of Kenyan athletes. Since there was lack of resources for the test and no WADA-credited facility for it, 54 of the test samples were taken back to Europe and all urine samples tested in South Africa. In 2011, well over 40 Kenyan athletes failed the drugs tests; and at the moment, 18 Kenyan athletes including Boston marathon winner, Rita Jeptoo have been suspended for athletic doping.

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Christine Wambui Mugera, the regional head of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) fears that “the biggest threat is the declaration of non-compliance and the possible consequences of that”, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) ban of Russian Athletics last year over this issue (state-sponsored doping) is a typical example.

The Kenyan government, accused of a prolonged nonchalant attitude towards the doping tendency which seems to be “common place” in Kenya have set up NADO – National Anti-doping Organisation, to carry out drug tests; on the side, “Legislation has yet to be passed by the Kenyan parliament” and a pending £3.5m (500m Kenyan shillings) to be released for ADAK.

Asking why athletes dope is same as knowing why some celebrities are fetish to cosmetic surgery – it could be the pressure of competition, plain ambition – the quest to be the best. But then, whatever happened to the true spirit of sportsmanship? You win some, you lose some. Condoning athletic doping at the international level especially, is a way of saying honesty and hardwork does not matter that much.

This is a blow on Kenya and really not a good reputation for Africans, since our best athletes come from Kenya. It says a lot about the level of corruption in our systems; we seem to be used to it and that’s why some people can afford to confuse it with being ‘smart’. If it’s anything to go by, athletes just as everyone else need routine psychological check-could come professionally or otherwise.

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