Footballers, boxers watch out
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced on Tuesday night that the government will extend the war on doping beyond athletes to encompass football and boxing as well.
Though other disciplines will not be spared, football and boxing have in the past reported several cases of doping, sometimes without the players noticing, one example being that of national football team player Philip Opiyo who tested positive for bhang while playing for South African Premier League side Umtata Bush Bucks in 2005 before he was expelled.
Pugilist David Munyasia also tested positive for cathine during the 2004 Athens Olympics after chewing miraa four times more than the allowed limit of five microgrammes per millilitre was found to be present in his urine. He too was expelled from the Games.
Locally, the use of miraa, bhang and alcohol among footballers and boxers before matches is the norm. However, the new guidlines are set to change the trend.
Doping in Sport
Amina who had attended the fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland, said the government will adopt a holistic approach in dealing with doping in the country which will involve casting the net beyond athletes to all other actors in the sports industry. “The era of holding only athletes responsible for doping is drawing to an end. Trainers, managers and agents must also take their responsibilities seriously,” said the CS.
She added: “Athletes do not live and train in isolation. They are part of the entourage and must be treated as such. Accomplices must also be held accountable.”
Amina said the Ministry will propose new legislation that will enable the prosecution of doping accomplices in addition to the athletes.
“If passed into law, coaches, managers, sports agents and other connected persons will be barred from practicing in Kenya and face a potential jailed term for taking part in any form of doping.
Our view of doping as a country resonates with the position of the IOC that any successful anti-doping regime must clean up the entire sports ecosystem to guarantee fair play and clean sport,” said Amina.