David Macharia @PeopleSports11
Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang has urged runners to be patient if they want to achieve success instead of seeking shortcuts through doping.
Kipsang is worried that a large number of Kenyan athletes banned for doping violations are youthful runners who are just getting started.
“My friends don’t be misled, doping destroys a person’s reputation, career and tarnishes the image of the country,” said Kipsang while advising runners to train properly and observe their diet if they want to excel instead of using banned substances.
Kipsang says doping is driving away sponsors from the sport and if not checked, it could lead to reduced earnings in prize money for Kenyan runners.
Warning against Miraa
Stephen Njenga, an athletics coach based at Gwa-Kung’u in Nyandarua County, also waded into the debate, warning runners from the area against chewing miraa and muguka (khat) which is widely sold in towns like Nyeri, Nyahururu and Ol Kalou because they could test positive for doping.
“Don’t see other people chewing it and also follow blindly. It is a drug and its traces can be detected in your blood,” said Njenga.
Kipsang and Njenga were speaking in Nyahururu during trials to recruit runners to join Chima Sports Promotion of Japan, a club founded jointly by Japanese Chikara Yanada and Kenyan Isaac Macharia.
Chima Sports Promotion has connections with secondary schools, universities and companies in Japan where runners who show great progress during training in Kenya can join.
“I trained for six years in my formative years before getting my first athletics trip abroad. Some people even tried to discourage me after seeing me dominate local races but not get trips. So use this opportunity well,” Kipsang told the budding runners while also advising them against abandoning their education.