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Nairobi to host final athletics doping conference tomorrow

By Amos Abuga
Friday, December 4th, 2020
Athletics Kenya official Barnaba Korir. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO
In summary

Athletics Kenya (AK) is focusing on junior athletes in a unique anti doping conference that will be held in Nairobi tomorrow.

After the cancellation of the annual seminar that was initially planned to be held between December 2 and 5 in Nairobi, the athletics body decided to instead only involve top athletes from different regions who are on course to compete at the 2021 World Under-20 Championship.

The aim of the conference is to instill virtues as a measure of fighting the rising doping vice.

The Nairobi meeting that will involve roughly 50 athletes comes hot on the heels after similar events were held in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, (Wednesday), Eldoret (Thursday), Kericho (Friday) with Nairobi set to host the final semi virtual meeting.

According to AK Youth Committee chairman Barnaba Korir, the four-day event that targeted about 150 athletes has been hugely successful if the initial days is anything to go by.

He said the juniors have been taken through among other things whereabouts rules which is slowly turning out to be a cancer in the sport.

“After Covid-19 made it impossible to hold our annual conference we decided to focus on a select group of junior athletes who are preparing for World Under-20 Championships and who are drawn from various camps across the country,” said Korir.

He noted that with doping cases on the rise in Kenya, the programme is also involving the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) who are mostly focused on the whereabouts rule.

“The programme will primarily focus on doping and especially whereabouts rules and that is why we have invited the AIU who will conduct lessons via zoom because our intention is to reach out to these athletes while in their tender age and educate them on the importance of integrity in sports,” said Korir.

The AK Nairobi branch boss further says the Riadha House federation is looking towards partnering with schools in order to foster education among the junior athletes mostly in primary and secondary schools.

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