The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) has warned Kenya athletes contemplating circumventing anti-doping regulations that advanced scientific testing and analysis of blood and urine samples will blow their cover.
Adak chief executive officer Japhter Rugut has declared that there are no more hiding place for the drug cheater; says some athletes might dodge and escape after taking illegal performance enhancing substances, but the profiling process through the Athletes Blood Passport (ABP) will eventually smoke them out.
Rugut said the combined force involving Adak, World Athletics’ Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU), World Anti- Doping Agency (Wada), Athletics Kenya (AK) and other foreign agencies, like Anti-Doping Norway and French Anti-Doping Agency, is winning the war against doping.
“Some athletes, their coaches and managements are proving crafty. They know after 21 days, the illegal substances like Erythropoietin (Epo) will have been erased from their systems.
“They are sure nothing will be found but let them know that we have other ways to do the tests and that the scientific analysis is the new frontier in righting doping,” said Rugut.
Rugut warned that the spike in those failing doping test is bound to rise with more ABP cases coming up, but hastened that high profile cases will act as a deterrent.
Rugut said it shocking that those being caught to have doped are senior and elite athletes who are conversant with doping issues and are exposed to technology, and not the amateurs.
“The only problem is that these athletes don’t want to listen hence that attitude and culture must change,” said Rugut, who called on Athletics Kenya to help out.
Rugut also singled out peer pressure and support from athletes’ support personnel, and even managements, as some of the contributing factors to this vice.
“Athletes view athletics as business and a way of generating money hence would do anything to win major races,” said Rugut.
“What I want to tell them is that intelligent sample collection analysis in now advanced.”
Rugut noted that the opening of Wada-approved laboratory for Athlete ABP blood analysis in Nairobi in 2018 took the battle to the next level.
Rugut pointed out that athletics seems to be the hot spot for doping, bodybuilding, weightlifting and swimming are some of the sports they are focusing on.
Rugut said since Adak’s inception in 2016, they have managed 4,116 tests – 3,552 blood urine and 564 blood – by March this year.
“We started with 545 in 2016 to 1,200 in 2019,”Rugut said. “We had targeted 1,250 this year but we had done 970 by March this year.”
Rugut explained that they have registered 120 Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) cases since 2016 where some have been sanctioned and others are in progress.
He said Adak has handled 84 cases while AIU 27.
Rugut said they have marked a milestone in their education and sensitisation drive where they have held 142 workshops with 11,513 people participating since 2016.