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In a statement released on Thursday, Athletics Kenya (AK) announced that they are throwing support behind World Athletics (WA) new testing program that was launched on Tuesday. WA’s program will target distance-based Kenyan athletes the most.
There are approximately 53 Kenyan athletes currently not eligible to compete due to missed tests, Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) anomalies and positive drug tests. This is the highest number in the world, save for Russia, who are under a complete ban and have been since 2015 for systematic doping.
Kenya has laws in place that make doping a criminal offence.
“We have been informed that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is going to organize a number of group testing sessions specifically for road runners. The sessions will be held at a number of locations across Kenya during September,” AK said in a statement.
“Athletics Kenya is providing them with all the required logistical support for a smooth and safe conduct of these activities in line with health guidelines of our government. We are a hundred per cent committed to supporting the AIU in its aim of protecting the integrity of our sport.”
Some of the athletes banned are big names like Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist, former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, Alfred Kipketer, the 2014 world junior 800m champion, three-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and 2016 Rio Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet (turned Bahraini).
Athletics Kenya will need to reign in their athletes.