From the online publication, Coastweek.com, it appears that Kenya or more accurately Athletics Kenya (AK) and their president Isaiah Kiplagat are now admitting that Kenya has a major doping problem. The following truncated excerpt was copied from Coastweek.com.
AK says more Kenyans doped in 2014
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — More Kenyans were caught doping beyond the names released by International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), Athletics Kenya (AK) President Isaiah Kiplagat confirmed Friday.
16 more cases have not been reported because the AK cannot track down the suspected athletes to hear their version of the story.
So far 32 cases of doping were reported and only 16 have been made public from Kenya.
“They are elusive. But we are doing our best to get hold of them. Most competed in Peru, Mexico, USA and Europe. A few cases were in Asia. The number is over 200. But only 32 were nabbed,” Kiplagat told reporters in Nairobi.
Recently, Athletics Illustrated has reported on a number of doping issues to do with Kenya, Russia, Turkey and others. Although doping is not isolated to these three countries, according to an ARD German television documentary, How Russia Makes Champions, Russia’s apparent systematic doping program is coordinated and covered up by their own anti-doping agency, a proverbial fox guarding the hen-house situation. While Russia’s issue appears systematic and perhaps systemic, Kenya’s seems random and yet somehow coordinated. Their fox guarding their proverbial hen-house is not their governing body, but apparently unscrupulous agents and coaches.
Kiplagat was derided through the media for his paranoia about foreign coaches and agents working in his country, with his athletes – including here at Athletics Illustrated – he may in fact be at least somewhat justified in his initial response to Kenyan doping accusations from 2012 and 2013 reports, when he ordered all non-registered foreign coaches and agents to leave the country within one week. This, shortly after ARD aired a documentary where German journalist Hajo Seppelt worked undercover in Kenya as a sports agent to seek access to drugs and athletes; apparently it was too easy. This was the documentary about Matthew Kisorio and his jaw-dropping admittance to doping being a common problem in his country.
While the result is similar: “doping”, the driving forces are disparate, for example in Kenya, for an athlete to win prize money in Asia, Europe or North America they can set themselves up for life or for a very long time. Apparently these unscrupulous coaches and agents take advantage of the poverty-stricken athlete’s willingness to suffer in training for an opportunity to win prize money. The agents take a piece of the prize money in the process, which is standard practice, however, the athlete can be at the mercy of the agent or coach. Additionally, there is a cultural level of ignorance to do with understanding the implications of doping within East Africa, according to famed coach Renato Canova.
Apparently in Russia doping is pushed onto the athletes by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA. According to the documentary by ARD, RUSADA as well as the Russian Athletics Federation, doping has been administered (to 99.9% of athletes) and covered up. This, by those whose responsibility it is to be protecting and guiding the athletes. The Turkey situation appears similar to Russia’s, although there is not as much known about their program, but simply put, dozens of athletes have been sanctioned for testing positive for anabolic steroids.
The man who created the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Canadian lawyer and former Olympian, Dick Pound, is heading up an investigation into the Russian doping debacle. Stay tuned for more information about his findings, as Pound is blunt and uncompromising in his efforts to rid sports (not just athletics) of doping.
Meanwhile the athletics world awaits the outcomes related to AK and Kiplagat’s open admission.