The Athletics Kenya (AK) has raised concern over the rising cases of doping in the country to enhance athletes’ performance in championships.
The AK Central region Chairman, David Miano on Monday called for concerted efforts from the government and athletes to curb the menace that has serious consequences to the country, including imposition of bans from international events.
Speaking at Ruring’u stadium in Nyeri County, Miano said, “Given what has been happening in the country and having the bulk of athletes on this side in Central region, the same menace may eventually spread to us”.
Miano who was donating face masks to representatives of the athletes in the region for onward delivery, said AK in the area has kept a close watch on the pockets of training to ensure performance-enhancing substances are not abused.
He pointed out that the situation in Central region is not bad but hastened to add that Kirinyaga County had one instance that is being pursued by the authorities.
The Chairman asserted that AK will act tough on anyone using the substances and the criminals supplying them.
Miano said before the AK annual calendar was disrupted by the Corona virus, it had arranged for competitions to tap new talents from the grassroots level to the national and was optimistic normality would return when the lock down is eased.
He disclosed that Chairmen of the five counties have been directed to ensure that coaches monitor individual trainings during this time of lock down for possible assistance.
“Some of the athletes are used to training in groups and we know they are having challenges during this time,” Miano added.
The Chairman thanked the national and county governments for the ongoing construction of the modern Ruring’u stadium to international standards, saying it is an asset to local and foreign athletes.
He however, said that more facilities should be set up to ensure it accommodated various sports to tap talents and generate revenue.
Speaking during the same event, two athletes’ representatives, Miriam Wangari from Nyahururu and Samuel Ndung’u from Nyandarua echoed the Chairman’s sentiments on doping.
They urged the government and AK to get to the root cause of the problem and protect the country’s image in the international arena.
By Mwangi Gaitha