Doping allegations rock Team Kenya ahead World Championships in Doha
Kenya is struggling to maintain a clean image ahead of the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha amid reports that two athletes in the team recently ‘injected’ themselves with the banned Erythropoietin (EPO) substance.
These allegations are contained in ZDF, a German media publication which also claims to have video evidence of the male and female athletes implicated for consuming the substance.
EPO has been banned by the world athletics governing body for the past two decades, ever since an examination discovered it increases one’s red blood cells and gradually improves the amount of oxygen, offering an athlete using it an unfair advantage over opponents.
IAAF has vowed to investigate the claims even as Athletics Kenya (AK) distanced itself from the allegations with a stern warning that any athlete found guilty of using banned substances will be banned for life.
“We make sure our national team follows the rules. With this team (to Doha), we spoke more intensively, held seminars with them and explained the international regulations. If an athlete dopes, he will be thrown out and will never wear national team colours again,” said AK’s Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir.
Still, the report by ZDF suggests that there could be corrupt people within AK and the Anti-Doping body in Kenya who are helping the athletes break the law.
Kenya finished second behind USA in the last edition of the World Athletics Championship held in London.