Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has has set its first ever sports science centre in Eldoret in the fight against doping among athletes in the country.
The institution says that the facility will carry out scientific studies on doping, nutrition, and injuries in athletics.
While launching the facility, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha said the new KEMRI laboratory as well as the ministry of sports will be working together in enabling the new laboratory achieve the required standard to become one of the world’s accredited anti-doping labs.
“All samples are currently done overseas. I am optimistic that we will soon have the only anti-doping test centre in Kenya,” she said.
KEMRI Acting Director General Elijah Songok said the launch of the laboratory in Eldoret marked the beginning of Kenya’s journey towards having an accredited anti-doping centre.
“Currently, samples collected from Kenyan athletes are flown to South Africa’s Doping Control Laboratory – Bloemfontein or to labs in European countries such as Germany, Portugal and Poland,” he said.
He added that the laboratory in Eldoret will bolster ADAK’s anti-doping education through scientific research.
“We anticipate that the new centre will provide Kenyan athletes with much-needed scientific evidence to support investment in their holistic well-being. In KEMRI, we strive to safeguard athletics as our national treasure,” Prof Songok said.
KEMRI Board chairman Abdullahi Ali said he was optimistic that the institute would secure WADA accreditation to start anti-doping tests.
“The centre is designed to prioritize the comprehensive analysis of biological passports, factors associated with anti-doping testing, and sports injuries,” Ali said.
The CS was accompanied by Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, legendary athlete William Tanui, the 1992 Olympic 800m champion among others.