World Athletics Championships: Eyes on AIU as Doping Allegation Rocks Kenya

Rita Jeptoo is among the Kenyan athletes serving doping bans ©Getty Images
Rita Jeptoo is among the Kenyan athletes serving doping bans. [Photo: Courtesy]
A bomb waiting to explode could be the right phrase to describe matters in Kenyan athletics if allegations published by a German media ahead of IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 is confirmed.

About a week ago, footage run by ZDF allegedly showed two Kenyan athletes, one male and one female, being injected with banned performance-enhancing substance Erythropoietin.

The footage went to the extent of showing unbelievable revelations from a doctor and a coach, both whose sentiments confirmed that the Kenyan athletes indeed doped.

“There is no doping done just before the race or any important competition, here they use EPO in training. “From the current national team, I had eight runners [doping] with me, ” the doctor, whose identity is protected in the programme, said as quoted by ZDF.

ZDF also claims to have evidence of possible corruption and collusion between Athletics Kenya and the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), a thing Athletics Kenya has come out to vehemently object. The Kenyan athletics management body says they have no power to ‘interfere’ with ADAK which is an independent body.

With the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha nearing, the allegations have landed on the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)-the body mandated to investigate and decide the outcome.

The matter has also caught the attention of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe.  The IAAF boss said the German broadcaster will meet the AIU to hand over its evidence during the World Championships, which open in Doha on Friday (September 27).

“I know the AIU is following up on some accusations that have been made in the German media. I’m sure they will report back as soon as they’ve established the facts to the IAAF, ” Coe said as quoted by Inside the games.

The first batch of Kenyan Athletes arrived in Doha on Tuesday, September 24 ahead of the World Athletics Championships scheduled to run between Friday, September 27 and October 6.

A total of 41 Kenyan athletes are currently under sanctions, including former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo, 2016 Olympic Games marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, and 2008 Beijing Olympics and three-times 1,500m world champion Asbel Kiprop.

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