National Olympic Committee Of Kenya Bashes Government Over Doping

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

The chairman of the National Olympic Committee Of Kenya, Kipchoge Keino, has expressed his disappointment with his government in relation to the way they have reacted to doping in Kenyan athletics.

The East African country is famous for producing middle and long distance runners of supreme class, standing out on the world stage as some of the best in the sport, but the shadow of doping threatens to ruin a reputation built on years of success and hard work.

A number of Kenyan athletes have been found guilty of doping in recent years, with dozens culpable, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has now given the country an ultimatum, threatening a four-year ban unless serious efforts are made to rid Kenyan athletics of drug cheats.

Keino is disappointed with the response from government, however, as he believes that the threat has fallen on deaf ears as far as his government in concerned.

“I have personally tried to reach government officials to agree on how to act on this menace, but I don’t get appointments. I make calls that are unanswered,” a despondent Keino said to Reuters.

“We even tried to convince senior government officials to attend these meetings, but they instead delegate to junior officers.”

The threat of a four-year ban from Wada is credible, as this week the agency called for Russia to be suspended from international athletics after publishing a report which alleged a state-sponsored culture of doping and corruption.

With this in mind, Keino, himself a two-time Olympic gold medallist, has called for urgent action from the Kenyan government and Athletics Kenya to root out the scourge that threatens to spoil the country’s ability to compete at next year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Keino suggested the introduction of new laws to criminalise those involved in doping, while cracking down on all elements that support such cheating in the sport with vigour and determination.

“That way, we shall convince the world of our commitment to fighting this crime. Anything else is just sugar coating,” stated Keino.