From Inside the Games
Next week’s Athletics Kenya Conference will be attended by representatives of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which will specifically deal with doping matters.
The Conference, due to take place from December 4 to 7, comes at an extremely tumultuous time for Athletics Kenya, which has seen a succession of its top runners implicated in doping scandals.
More than 300 athletes are expected to converge on Sirikwa Hotel in Eldoret for the second edition of the event.
Themed “I choose Integrity”, it will see a marathon and road runners’ doping session held on the opening day prior to the main three-day Athletes’ Annual Conference, featuring track and field stars.
The Conference is mandatory for the invited athletes to attend, with Athletics Kenya claiming failure to do so will result in consequences.
Apart from marathon and road runners, it will especially feature youths, juniors and athletes likely to make the cut for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Athletics Kenya will use the Conference as a first step towards Tokyo 2020 preparations as required by World Athletics, which has made it compulsory for Kenyan athletes to undergo three out-of-competition tests to rule out cheats before heading to the Olympics.
The main topic for discussion will be anti-doping, with advice being provided on the best way to remain and compete clean.
“The reason we have our focus on road races and marathon runners is that they present the higher percentage of athletes banned,” David Miano, Athletics Kenya’s chairman for the central region, was reported as saying by Xinhua.
“The seminar is vital for all those runners invited and their coaches.”