Amos Abuga @PeopleSports11
Athletics Kenya (AK) revealed yesterday that it has put in place stringent measures to curb age cheating and other related offences.
AK said it was necessary to take steps before conducting trials to select two teams to represent the country during the Confederations of Africa Athletics (CAA) U18 and U20 junior athletics championships to be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from April 16-18.
Ahead of the national trails set for March 21-22 at the Moi International Sports Centre, the team under the tutelage of AK Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir who is also the youth development docket holder says the committee and AK has sought the help of regional chairmen, school officials and other relevant bodies to ensure the right athletes are selected.
Besides meeting qualifying times, Korir added that for one to be eligible to take part in the U18, they must have been born between 2002 and 2003 and be U18 by December 31. For the U20, they must have been born between 2000 and 2001 and as a result be less than 20 years by end 2019.
Before paving way for the trails that will see Kenya select two teams for championships, a team of appointed officials will conduct detailed vetting that will involve athletes presenting their original birth certificates or passports, release letter from their schools, and in some cases chronological details from the day they joined the school.
“Let a child be a child! This time around, we shall not only disqualify and punish the athletes who will be caught cheating but we shall go a step further and recommend their coaches or even teachers be prosecuted,” AK president Rtd Jackson Tuwei said yesterday.
“The country is blessed with abundance of talents, the aim is to have genuine youth and juniors taking part in the Africa championships that will help the country as a step stone for next year’s World under 20 championships here in Nairobi,” added Tuwei.
For the two championships that will be conducted simultaneously in the West Africa Nation for the first time ever, Korir says the country is seeking to take a full team of athletes, 26 in the U18 category and a similar number in the U20 category will be selected.