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Friday, July 21, 2017

Kenya, IAAF partner to set up Anti-Doping Laboratory

Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei
Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei

The Kenya government in conjunction with International Association of Athletics Federation will soon set up an Anti-Doping laboratory in the country as part of the stringent measures to fight the menace.

Director of administration in the Ministry of Sports, Haroun Komen, said the move to set up the laboratory is short term and will borrow heavily from existing health institutions like Kenyatta National Hospital and Kenyatta University. “This is short term fix because in the long term, we intend to build a fully-fledged laboratory although it’s quite an expensive exercise which will take time,” he added.

The laboratory, whose construction starts at the end of this month, will be installed with all the Anti-Doping equipment and will be run by trained medical personnel.

Komen made the remarks following a three-hour closed door meeting with Thomas Capdeville and Kyle Barber, both of whom sit on the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Commission. Also present at the meeting was Athletics Kenya President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei and Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) chief executive officer, Kiplimo Rugut among others.

In the budgetary estimates for the 2016-2017 financial year, Komen said ADAK has set aside Sh300 million, which will be used to help enhance and sensitise the athletes and Kenyan public on the dangers of doping. Capdeville said Kenya needs to have successful national Anti Doping programme due to the stellar performance it has had on the track for years. “We have had fruitful meeting with the concerned stakeholders and we hope they will follow the steps we have outlined because Kenya is powerhouse in the world of athletics and it must have a robust programme,” added Capedeville.

Kenya is on IAAF watch-list after being ruled non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency following a string of drug scandals. Rugut said the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) board will meet today to ratify the decisions of the meeting with IAAF. Rugut expressed confidence that by August when Kenya parades at the World athletic Championships in London, the country will no longer be on the watch list.

A total of 109 athletes have been put under five doctors—the Kenya Doctors Network— as part of the stringent measures AK have put in place to deal with the problem.

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