•The proposed facility under consideration is to be developed in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and its agencies including ADAK.
•The facility, which will be a fully recognised anti-doping centre, would serve not only the country but also the East African region as a whole.
Modalities to establish an Anti-Doping Testing Laboratory in Kenya are at an advanced stage.
According to reports, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the County Government of Uasin Gishu are negotiating to build a regional centre in Eldoret that will house a graduate school in addition to being used for research.
The proposed facility under consideration is to be developed in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and its agencies including ADAK.
The facility, which will be a fully recognised anti-doping centre, would serve not only the country but also the East African region as a whole.
According to sources, KEMRI has already requested funding for the facility from the National Treasury through the Ministry of Health, and Eldoret has already been chosen as the site by the National Government.
The Uasin Gishu County Government, ADAK, World Anti-Doping Agency, and Athletics Kenya will collaborate on the initiative. The widespread use of doping products and procedures has hurt the health of athletes and the integrity of sports.
The fact that the country is in Category A means its athletes must undergo at least three no-notice tests, according to Anti-Doping Rules of World Athletics.
According to the 2022 report by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and ADAK, at least 55 Kenyan athletes are now banned, while eight more have their eligibility temporarily suspended.
The project's manager at KEMRI, Professor Elijah Sankok, stated that it was an excellent opportunity for him to be involved in the anti-doping tests and research.
"The laboratory will be involved in two different phases— the testing of doping violations and the study of methods used to cover up agents. We are currently monitoring ADAK to ensure that we can achieve the required testing capacity and be granted permission by WADA," said Professor Bangkok.
KEMRI will have to prove that their labs can test at least 3,000 samples within a year to get the green light from WADA.
According to ADAK CEO Sarah Shibutse, KEMRI expressed interest in doing research and testing for doping breaches in 2017, and discussions have since continued.
“KEMRI approached us and said they were interested in the testing process and we welcomed the move. If the institution is approved, It means ADAK will be able to save on the shipment costs which range from US$300-350,” said Shibutse.
Although Shibutse was unsure of how much it would cost-cut for ADAK to analyze the sample, she revealed that at the moment, one blood sample to analyze an athlete's biological passport (ABP) costs approximately US$70.
Other analyses, including those of urine and blood, range from US$150 to US$300 per sample.ReplyReply allForward