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World doping agency lands in Kenya

23 October 2014, 19:00

Cape Town - The World Anti-Doping Agency will help create a new anti-doping body in Kenya after a report concluded the East African country — a longtime producer of champion distance runners — has no effective program to fight drug cheating.

Separately, the International Rugby Board said on Thursday it was taking seriously allegations against Kenyan rugby after the same government-commissioned report into doping said banned steroids were found in supplements given to national rugby players.

The Kenya Rugby Union has denied any wrongdoing in its sevens team, which was implicated. The report recommended that Kenya sevens head coach Paul Treu — a former sevens world title-winning coach with South Africa — and five members of his staff should face disciplinary proceedings.

"The IRB operates a zero-tolerance stance towards drugs cheats in rugby and while the IRB takes such allegations seriously it would be inappropriate to comment until the facts have been determined," the IRB said in an emailed statement to The AP.

WADA sent the report on the Kenya rugby findings to the IRB, it said.

The IRB noted no Kenyan rugby player had failed a doping test since 2005, and the team was tested regularly on the top-level IRB world sevens series. The KRU and Treu have denied any wrongdoing, questioning the reliability of the report from an anti-doping task force appointed by the Kenyan government.

Read also: 7s coach Treu lambastes report linking him to doping

"I believe in transparency so I urge the task team to release the full report and the laboratory tests done on the supplement," Treu, a South African, told the South African Press Association.

The report said Treu introduced the supplements in question after he joined the team in November 2013, and tests on a batch in December showed the presence of steroids. Treu said he and his coaching staff were not interviewed during the investigation.

WADA's announcement on a new Kenyan national anti-doping organization followed a meeting with Kenyan government officials in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday. Anti-doping agencies from Norway and China will help Kenya set up the organization, WADA said, and WADA director general David Howman called the meeting "constructive."

Kenya has been under close scrutiny since German broadcaster ARD alleged in 2012 that doping was common among the country's famous distance runners. Kenya has seen a spike in positive tests in recent years, with 18 athletes failing drugs tests from January 2012 to December 2013, according to the doping report. That's a rate of nearly one a month.

WADA pushed Kenya to investigate the ARD allegations and the long-awaited report was made public last week.

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- AP


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