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Taskforce finds doping prevalence in sports

08 May 2014, 22:01

Nairobi - A anti-doping taskforce has found that performance-enhancing drugs are widely available in the country.

But the panel which presented its findings to Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario on Thursday allayed fears of widespread doping among the country's athletes.

"There are few athletes who have deliberately used these substances. Most of those found guilty were struggling to reach the top very quickly and were using a shortcut," said the head of the taskforce, Professor Moni Wekesa.

"We found out that in certain instances it is the athletes' agents who were encouraging or giving these substances to our athletes. This needs to be controlled," said Wekesa.

"We also found out that the prohibited substances are readily available at chemists, shops and pharmacies where the athletes can easily acquire them."

The panel handed to the minister an envelope containing names of individuals to be investigated for deliberately doping Kenyan athletes.

Since January 2012, increased testing in Kenya netted 17 cheats, with six of athletes being suspended for using the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO).

But Wekesa said his panel, which interviewed 133 Kenyan sports officials, agents and athletes, found that the use of banned substances such as steroids, cannabis and khat were more common in rugby and football.




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