James Magayi @magayijim
Kenya produces the third highest number of cheating athletes globally according to recent data published by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Russia, guilty of state-aided doping among her sportsmen and women, tops the list of shame with 87 athletes serving current bans while India, with her population of 1.3 billion people, is second on the list with 42 track and field athletes under sanction.
Kenyan athletes, globally acclaimed for their running prowess on all surfaces encompassing track, grass and road, are also hurtling towards the crown of sporting pariahs owing to the disgustingly high doping prevalence among them.
They sit third on the list of shame with 41 athletes currently serving bans.
Twenty-four male athletes have been flagged for diverse doping offenses with guilty female athletes numbering 17.
Six of the sanctions are still provisional. Carthage nation Morocco have the second highest number of athletes serving doping sentences at 30 while Ethiopia have 12 athletes on the list. Sprint powerhouse United States of America (USA) has 17 athletes on the sanctions list while China has 28.
Only three Kenya athletes serving bans were detected in out of competition test with majority caught during events.
Two of the three out-of-competition culprits Francisca Koki and Emily Chebet only had Furosemide, a masking agent in their system while Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 Olympic Marathon champion was found with blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).
Two of the 41 Kenyans serving bans are or were athlete support personnel. Former Kenya team manager Mike Kosgei is under sanction for tampering with anti-doping process while Daniel Ayiemba, an athlete support personnel was found guilty of administering to an athlete a banned substance.
It also emerges that EPO is not the favourite poison for greedy Kenyan athletes who thirst for quick fame and fortune. The much-maligned blood booster has just three takers serving current bans with majority flagged for use of Norandrosterone.
Ten athletes are on Norandrosterone with Preduisone, salbutamol and exogenous steroids also a favorite. Two athletes. Kipyegon Bett and Jacob Kibet were flagged for refusing to submit samples for testing although the latter’s case is still under adjudication.
Joyce Chepkurui, Abraham Kiptum, Cyrus Rutto and Sarah Chephirchir have been flagged for Athlete Biological Passport offences.