Youth Affairs and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has threatened to shut down athletes’ training camps found flouting anti-doping regulations. Namwamba said sports careers of innocent athletes in the country were being ruined by certain training camps, coaches, and agents who administer enhancement drugs to athletes without their knowledge. The CS however promised that they will succeed in eliminating doping cases among the athletes through a multi-agency joint war. He said the government through the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya together with National Government Administration officers, Police, judiciary, and several other key players will reign on training camps and their coaches who are suspiciously doping innocent athletes. ‘Training camps, coaches, and agents we are coming for you. We’ll deal with suspects like criminals,’ Ababu told journalists during a press briefing at Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex. He said sports, especially athletics had lifted Kenyans’ fame globally and that’s why the government had set aside Sh3.7 billion to deal with doping cases, which has threatened athletes’ career. ‘Kenya is a sporting nation, key in driving our economy, and any threat to athletes’ advancement is dangerous for this country,’ Ababu said. The CS regretted that the recent increase in doping cases among Kenyan athletes had attracted international attention when World Athletics President Lord Sebastion Coe visited Kenya early this year. Coe’s visitation came a few weeks after Kenya escaped a doping ban on athletics. Namwamba said he promised Athletics World President that Kenya was committed to ending doping among athletics through grassroots sensitisation of athletes and the upcoming champions. ‘Our athletes are now competing under suspicion and that is why we are fully committed to disrupting doping syndicates within our country,’ the CS promised. Through initiatives like Talanta Hela, the government will identify sports talents among youths and prepare them to use their sports careers to change their economic lives, added Namwamba. He committed to ensure the construction of ‘Elite Stadium,’ a move aimed at identifying and building the talents of youths in sports in Nandi County. Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, also present during the briefing, was disappointed that doping cases had been identified among athletes from his county. Sang challenged the CS, Kenya Anti-Doping Agency, and the entire anti-doping team to ensure syndicates surrounding doping cases are identified and dealt with according to the law. ‘I strongly believe with our administration officers and other relevant agencies, this anti-doping war will be won,’ Sang said. The Governor also recommended investigations of training camps, and coaches with a view to banning those found culpable from carrying out their activities in the country. Sang also suggested that chemists and companies found selling doping drugs be discontinued from doing business. Namwamba had toured Nandi to understand the progress of an anti-doping sensitisation campaign championed by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and the County Government.
Source: Kenya News Agency