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The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kings University College London to partner in the building of an anti-doping laboratory at KEMRI Centre in Eldoret.
In a release published on KEMRI’s website, titled, “KEMRI to Partner with English Premier League Anti-Doping Testing Laboratory,” it quoted Professor Elijah Songok, “We are really excited to partner with King’s College – a university that has vast experience, expertise and reputation in anti-doping testing and research. We believe this is the right step in ensuring KEMRI serves as a hub for athlete sample testing but also as a homegrown platform for other research and aim to eliminate the need to send samples out of Kenya.”
This morning, I officially launched the KEMRI Eldoret Sports Science Research Centre. The centre will prioritise sports health research among them nutrition and eventually evolve into an anti-doping testing centre.— CS Nakhumicha S. Wafula (@Nakhumicha_S) August 17, 2023
The centre will enhance sports research and timely and… pic.twitter.com/GwAKnl21yA
“We are happy to partner with KEMRI and we shall work together in consultation with WADA for Kenya to acquire the first accredited anti-doping laboratory for the East Africa region,” said Prof Kim Wolff, Head of Kings Forensics Centre.
Part of the centre’s focus will be on education and research into sport science.
Over the past decade, Kenya’s reputation as a breeding ground of great talent in middle and long-distance running has been greatly tarnished. Currently, between 60 and 70 Kenyan athletes are serving suspensions. Many of the positive tests have come from in-competition testing, which is of concern for the sport. There needs to be more testing within Kenya. While testing is being done out-of-competition in Kenya, the samples are sent to accredited labs outside of the country. Wait times will be reduced and the samples will be handled within Kenya.