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Kenya on the right track in fighting doping, says AIU’s Clothier

The head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) Brett Clothier has commended the Kenyan government’s efforts in fighting doping.

The government committed 500 dollars a year to  fight the menace, a move Clothier said has started to yield results.

Speaking in Kaptagat over the weekend, Clothier said that he is in the country to review the progress of an anti-doping project that was initiated by the government after making a commitment to hand the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) 500 dollars per year for five years.

“The goal of the project is to enhance the anti-doping framework like testing, education, investigation that goes into the process in fighting doping,” said Clothier.

He said that the process has yielded fruits with more doping cases uncovered, following the government commitment to strengthen the testing that kicked off last year.

“The project has been going on for 12 months and we have improvements like testing domestically, increasing the number of doping cases. This is really good to avert the missing test in the past by AIU that involves top most level athletes. We needed ADAK to support us in the second tier where there is a lot of improvement but more is still to come and we are on the right track,” he said.

Accompanied by Athletics Kenya Committee member Barnaba Korir, Clothier said that he will be having a meeting with the world cross country team heading to Belgrade, Serbia for more information.

“It is very important to talk to athletes that we need more testing coming up for the purpose of strengthening clean sport because Kenya is a very unique place for us especially in the marathon, the runners are incredible and strong,” said Clothier.

He insisted the most important thing for Kenyans is to avoid being suspended and the government committed the funds, so everyone is committed to tackle the doping menace.

“The progress is good and from the assessment, we shall classify either in category A or B with more time and commitment, we shall be on the right track,” he added.

Korir said that the federation will set up an office in Eldoret to help solve some of the challenges athletes go through.

“The purpose is to follow up on anti-doping programs established in Kenya and our work is to make sure that he has access to the areas he wants to see. AK is happy with the results of the program where on one hand, there is reduction of doping and on the other hand, the testing has gone up and that is why the numbers are going up,” said Korir.

Due to this, AK and ADAK by support of the government have agreed to establish an office in Eldoret so that we can access athletes because the majority of athletes reside in this region. Eldoret will be the centre because of the north, South and central rift regions. We want to end the issue of athletes traveling to Nairobi seeking for services and give them enough time to make them important and provide any support they may need,” said Korir.

As part of fighting doping, he says that nowadays athletes collect their running numbers a day before the races and any athlete competing outside this country.

“So far there is acceptance from clean athletes that have offered fair competition and that is fighting doping,” he said.

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