Kenya’s athletic image threatened by doping allegations

World Today

Kenyan athletes train just after dawn, in Kaptagat Forest in western Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Track and field is the crown jewel of Kenyan sports — especially long distance running. The country has made itself an image of global success, but doping has tainting that image. The country must now show that it is committed to curbing it.

CCTV’s Celestine Karoney reports.

Kenya narrowly avoided the same fate as Russia. The East African nation will be allowed to compete at this year’s Games despite the International Olympic committee confirming the World Anti-Doping Agency’s verdict that Kenya was non-compliant. It also will not lead to any sanctions.

The final act in the process was meant to save Kenya from a non-compliant verdict from WADA, the world anti-doping agency. But the signing of the anti-doping bill into Kenyan law however did not pull Kenya out of its doping crisis.

On May 12, WADA declared the country in breach of the global anti-doping code.

There are 16 athletes currently serving bans for doping infringements. Former world cross country champion Emily Jebet and former Boston marathon champion Rita Jeptoo the most high profile of them.

Since 2011 more than 40 Kenyan athletes have failed tests. Kenya has often been accused of being non-committal in its fight against doping, with the country’s national athletics chief executive caught up in a scandal over potential subversion of the anti-doping process.