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Recently, New Zealand marathon record holder Zane Robertson was banned for eight years by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
Robertson tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in May of 2022. He then created an elaborate lie and produced false documentation regarding receiving an EPO injection instead of a COVID vaccine while in Kenya. All apparently false.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Self confessed dopefiend, Zane Robertson about to be arrested for smuggling EPO into Kenya. Cops to swoop in on rucks of foreign coaches and runners operating out of Iten, and selected training camps: https://t.co/Z4xvfnEFE8— Stazza (@Stazza4) March 28, 2023
Robertson subsequently twice went on podcasts to talk about his situation. In the podcast, he admitted to transporting the banned drug from his home in Ethiopia to his new home in Kenya. The importing across borders of performance-enhancing drugs is a crime and apparently, according to the podcaster, Robertson will be arrested this week.
“Following work between myself and a senior officer in the Kenyan Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Zane Robertson is about to be arrested for smuggling dope into Kenya. The DCI and the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya triggered a joint intelligence operation this week to arrest dopefiend and self-confessed dope smuggler, Zane Robertson. The agencies will swoop in on targeted training camps, coaches, and runners, mainly foreigners operating out of Iten.”
Part of the transcript:
“….Zane Robertson’s been under surveillance, and the two basically, well, the dci, the director of Criminal Investigation, and ADAK, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya. They’ve linked up and they’re now planning to swoop in on a number of training camps and individual dopers in Iten, the Home of Champions…”
So, according to the podcaster/coach, a number of Kenyan athletes and possibly coaches or enablers will be arrested.
Athletics Integrity Unit announces effort to clean up Kenya
Meanwhile, a press release from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) was distributed to media Tuesday with the headline, “Let’s clean up Kenyan Athletics.”
In the release, AIU president Brett Clothier is quoted as saying, “We’re working very hard to solve the doping menace in Kenya. The national government through the Ministry of Sport has pledged US$5 million per year in additional funding to tackle this menace and we at the Athletics Integrity Unit are working very closely with Athletics Kenya, with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, with the Government at all levels – national and regional – to develop the strategy for how to spend this money the best way possible; the strategy to restore the reputation of athletics in Kenya and to help beat this doping menace.
“My team is very excited. We have great partners in Kenya. The great thing is that no one is in denial about this challenge or the size of the problem. Everyone is confronting it and working in collaboration to come up with the right solutions,” said Clothier, explaining the extra funding will boost the level of drug-testing and education outreach within Kenya’s athletics community.
“Some (coaches) have introduced our athletes to drugs so what we require is the accreditation of these coaches so we can find good-quality coaches who are serious about developing the talent of our young people,” he elaborated.
Clothier was accompanied by Athletics Kenya Youth Development Director, Barnaba Korir; Central Rift chairman, Abraham Mutai, and other officials. The AIU Head will meet with athletes and coaches in Kapsabet, Nandi County, and Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet tomorrow. On Friday, he will report to Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, in Nairobi on the progress made under the new Steering Committee which is spearheading the fight against doping in Kenyan athletics.
Kenya has the most suspended athletes in the sport of athletics. Somewhere near 60 and up to 70 athletes are currently serving suspension or have recently been provisionally suspended or their suspension has recently ended. The bans vary from Athlete Biological Passport anomolies, whereabouts failures, positive doping tests and or lieing and altering documents.