Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei has warned of the adverse effects the doping tag might soon have on Kenya’s athletics legacy if quick intervention is not sought.
“Kenya is on the watch list of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) because of few in-disciplined individuals who have been doping to improve their performance.
If we are not careful very soon we might hear of some athletes saying they don’t want to compete against Kenyan athletes,” Tuwei warned. The federation has held extensive education programmes through seminars and outreach programmes held by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya but their efforts could go to waste as it emerged that most of the athletes are not aware of the banned substances.
While addressing 30 athletes preparing for the Africa Cross Country Championships at the St Mark’s Kigari Primary Teachers’ College in Embu, it emerged that none of the athletes had the list of the banned substances, which is updated at the beginning of the year, and none was aware of the Kenya Doctors Network (KDN), much to the surprise of Tuwei.
“This is very serious. It is good to go beyond knowing the effects of doping and find out what substances are prohibited since some athletes fall the trap of promoters and coaches due to ignorance,” said Tuwei.
While ADAK is holding far-reaching education drives, AK has a responsibility of creating the delicate balancing act of ensuring the knowledge is applied through KDN by expanding the pool of athletes benefitting from the program.
KDN is a network of doctors and personal medical personnel attached to local athletes aimed at managing the doping menace by familiarising themselves with the list of banned substances and ensuring they do not prescribe the same to athletes.
Meanwhile ADAK, yesterday officially launched a partnership with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) that will see the development of a value-based Anti- Doping Curriculum set to be introduced in schools for pupils under the age of 14. “Our core business is educating athletes and the general on the effects of doping but that is not enough.
“We have to instill values in our children that emphasise on honesty, integrity, responsibility and sincerity among other values to ensure that the doping menace is nipped in the bud,” said ADAK educator Charles Omondi.
With doping tests being carried out on athletes from as early as while competing in secondary school games Omondi believes that the curriculum will go a long way in curbing doping in Kenya.