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Kenya and other East African countries have long been suspected of age-cheating at youth and junior championships. However, it has never been fully investigated or proven. Athletics Kenya (AK) has now quasi-half admitted that age-cheating exists. They have indirectly pointed fingers at the athletes and coaches, not the administration or organisers of teams and meets.

With the national youth pre-trials and trials on their schedule, AK has warned that age-cheating will not be tolerated.

AK announced that athletes and coaches that there will be “severe consequences” if they age-cheat. This warning comes before the national pre-trials for the 2021 World Under-20 Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, Nov 20.

Flag of Kenya
Kenya’s Flag

AK director for youth and development, Barnaba Korir said that AK has improved their database of athletes, which they sourced from camps and secondary and primary schools.

A total of 502 juniors from 24 under-20 camps from across the country were selected for the trials. AK will select athletes and then provide them with specialised training to prepare them for the World Athletics Junior Championships happening April 2021.

Kenya is hosting the World under-20 meeting Aug. 17 to 22 next year at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani. The junior event has been planned from July 7 to 12 this year however, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have qualified officers who will handle the vetting and severe consequences await those who will try to corrupt their way through,” added Korir.