Kenyans Zakari, Koki fail doping test in Beijing
The world Athletics governing body has confirmed the provisional suspension of Francisca Koki and Joyce Zakari after they failed dope tests at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China.
“The IAAF has this evening announced that two Kenyan athletes, Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary, have accepted provisional suspensions following positive samples provided in Beijing on the 20th and 21st of August respectively,” a statement from Anna Legnan of the IAAF Communication department said.
“The IAAF Rules dictate that the IAAF is only able to make a public disclosure once this provisional suspension is in place. These targeted tests were conducted by the IAAF at the athlete hotels during the pre-competition phase. The IAAF will not discuss the details of the cases as they progress through the results management process,” the statement added.
Before the statement was issued, there was confusion in the Team Kenya camp after the then unconfirmed report indicated that two members of the team had failed doping test.
Initially, Athletics Kenya CEO Mr Isaac Mwangi dismissed said no official communication had been received by Kenya and therefore the reports “remained unfounded rumours.”
“Issue touching on doping is a matter of confidentiality until proven. These kind of rumour going round we need to confirm that”, Mwangi said from his V-Continental Hotel in Beijing.
Zakari, 29, and Koki, 21, are both 400m runners. Zakary set a national record of 50.71 seconds in the 400m heats on Monday but not start in her scheduled semi-final on Tuesday. Koki did not compete in the event in China.
The reports by some media claimed the Kenyans’ tests showed positive results for a masking agent for an unknown substance.
The Kenyan team traveled to Beijing in the backdrop of a report in the international media claiming that doping was widespread in the country.