Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Some facts about the “widespread” doping in Kenya, alleged by the German Journalist:


A fan of Kenyan athletics sent me an email yesterday following on the documentary about the alleged doping by athletes in Kenya. She wanted to know if I knew anything about it, at the same time wondering why a German journalist could fly into the country and stumble on some damning evidences that most of the journalists who have been in Kenya for many years, an example being her, the sender of the email from France who has been frequenting Kenya for over 25 years now, have failed to notice all along. It is not only her who was shocked by the documentary, I also was, and a number of other  people who have been around the Kenyan athletes for many years.... when I say many, I am talking of over 20 years.
All I can reply concerning that, is to state the facts: 
   

  1. A German journalist, who took a trip for a few days to Kenya and did some investigations, in his own ways, believes that there is widespread doping in Kenya. He created a documentary on it.
  2. Brother Colm O’Connel, a coach who has lived in Kenya for about 40 years, in the same compound with many great Kenyan runners, does not believe so. He thinks that the instances of doping are “extremely rare.” Here are some quotations from an interview I had with him in the recent past: a. Most of the elite athletes here in Kenya get tested up to 15 times every year. Also, the process of anti-doping testing is sophisticated and I cannot think that advanced doping services which might be able to influence the results can be available here in Kenya.” b.“On the doctors that specialize in doping in Kenya, any doctor anywhere else in the world knows what drugs can be used for, and if a doctor in Kenya can help athletes dope, then doctors anywhere else in the world can as well do that.”
  3. Myself, for about 10 years I have been in most of the Kenyan training camps training as an athlete and despite the tough competition I get when I run against fellow runners in competitions, I still haven’t found any proof to indicating that other athletes are doping.
  4. Most of the current world and Olympic champions are my personal friends and training mates. They even at times trust me with sensitive information like their passwords to email accounts and roles to manage their Facebook pages in which I get to read their messages, etc. I believe I would have seen anything suspicious if they doped, or they would have told me to try something fishy too.
  5. The 38-member Foundation Board < https://www.wada-ama.org/en/who-we-are/governance/foundation-board>, WADA's supreme decision-making body does not have a single Kenya included in it. Is there any reason why they should not work on the “evidence” by the German reporter and ban those implicated, if the evidence is substantial?
  6. Success stories of most Kenyan runners have been that of rags to riches, with some even running barefoot because they cannot afford running shoes. If they can afford the money for the drugs, surely they would have enough money to buy one pair of shoes for themselves.
  7. Kenyan athletes are usually tested in the same places; camps and competition venues. They often compete against each other in big competitions, and if one would see a foul play by the other, they would probably report their concerns to the relevant authorities to act. I was holding a bag for one athlete outside the doping control office in Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi after the trials. Almost all the athletes who had made the team to the world championships and those they had defeated were all in the same queue.