Anti-doping war intensifies as ADAK suspends 33 

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 07:18 | By
Representation of banned substances by ADAK.
Representation of banned substances by ADAK. PHOTO/ADAK

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya has intensified its war on substance abuse by athletes after suspending 33 of them.

26 athletes, some basketball and rugby players, found themselves on the suspension list for violating various doping rules. This is the second time the anti-doping agency has suspended a high number of players since suspending 20 in January 2023.

Joshua Belet, the 2023 Amsterdam Marathon champion, and Brian Wahinya, a KCB rugby player, are the high-profile stars suspended. Belet found himself on the blacklist after the presence of prohibited anabolic androgenic steroids, Testosterone, Adiol, Pregnanediol, Androsterone, and Etiocholanolone, were found in his blood traces. 

Joshua Belet wins the 2023 Amsterdam Marathon. PHOTO/AD News
Joshua Belet wins the 2023 Amsterdam Marathon. PHOTO/AD News

He was part of the Kenyan team that took part in the marathon during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Dorcas Jepchumba Kimeli, who represented Kenya at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships, and 2012 World U20 5,000m champion David Kiprotich Bett, as well as sprinters Duke Osoro Ogoti and Joan Jeruto, are among the suspended athletes. 

Wahinya, a former Kenya Simbas and Kenya Sevens player, together with Charlton Mokua and Zeden Lutomia Marrow, who feature for Kenya Harlequin, are the rugby players suspended. 

Alex Ramazani, James Mwangi Maina, and Albert Einstein Onyango Odero are also on the list.

The suspension was revealed by ADAK legal officer Bildad Rogoncho, who explained how the athletes can serve bans for just a few months. 

“If they consumed cannabis sativa just before the matches, that is a straight two-year ban. However, if they took it out of competition and can prove that they didn’t use it for performance enhancement, then they will get three months. 

“If they plead guilty and accept to go for rehabilitation, then they will get a one-month ban," Rogoncho said, as quoted by a local publication. 

Lack of resources

The legal officer said their efforts to fight the menace were difficult due to a lack of resources before.

“We didn’t have most of these athletes’ data due to a lack of resources, but we are now empowered to reach many, and we want to thank Athletics Kenya for this," he added. 

He said the fight has been widened by the fact that they have collaborated with agencies outside the country.

“We are also collaborating with other national anti-doping agencies outside the country to have them test Kenyan athletes in any race around the world,” said Rogoncho. 

“Some of these athletes have been going to compete in smaller races, even in Peru, thinking we are not based there," he continued.

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