London (AFP) – Britain’s anti-doping agency (UKAD) is to help train its counterpart in east African track powerhouse Kenya for a year, it announced Tuesday.
A five-strong team is in Nairobi to start training Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) staff, mirroring the work UKAD has already completed in Belarus and continues to do in Russia, where the anti-doping agency there has been suspended since late 2015 over a state-sponsored doping conspiracy.
The UKAD contract with Kenya comes with the spotlight firmly on the country, with dozens of Kenyan athletes caught cheating in recent years, although very few of them by their national agency.
Having narrowly avoided being barred from the last Olympics, Kenyan athletics was rocked last month when former Olympic and world 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop tested positive for the blood-booster EPO.
“This isn’t about being a do-gooder – there’s a clear benefit for our athletes from this work in that we are helping to level the playing field,” UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead told Britain’s Press Association.
“There are other anti-doping agencies that could do this work but if nobody else is doing it we will fill the breach – we’ll go wherever we have the capacity to go and there is a will for us to help.”
ADAK chief Japhter Rugut said: “The agency will benefit a great deal from the partnership with UKAD, which will be actualised through the training targeting our doping control officers and members of the therapeutic use exemption committee.
“This training will go a long way in enhancing the capacity of our personnel as they continue discharging their duties in line with our strategic mandate and the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.”