KRU Chairman: Rugby players are clean
22 October 2014, 14:43
Nairobi - The Kenya Government has been challenged to state whether they had
confidence in the qualification and integrity of members of a committee
which has alleged that Kenyan sportsmen, among them national rugby team
players, used illegal food supplements.
The Kenya Rugby Union [KRU] Chairman Mwangi Muthee said his
organization was shocked to find press reports even alluding to “that,
in the first place, it is illegal to use nutritional supplements.” He
said only one player had failed a doping test and that was way back in
2005. He also added that the sevens players, who play up to nine months
in a year around the world, are tested by standards set by the World
Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Rugby Board [IRB] and
none had failed since 2005.
Muthee, said on Tuesday morning, there was no WADA approved
Anti-Doping Agency in Kenya and a recent local “Anti-Doping Taskforce”
committee assembled had “cobbled together fallacious information from
familiar players of local sports politics wishing to score points for
their own agenda.”
Muthee who is currently out of the country, sent a brief message to
the Government of Kenya's Minister of Sports and Culture, Dr Hassan
Wario on Tuesday saying:
"This is shoddy and misinformed work by Moni Wekesa [the committee’s
chairman]. Our game is unfairly tarnished beyond repair and some Kenyans
are now liable to litigation because of the press publication of
‘absolute rubbish and untruth’. This exercise was a search for cheap
publicity which it has achieved.”
When the Wekesa committee report was handed to Wario, its coverage on
the online site of a local radio, Capital FM, sensationally headlined
that current Kenya Sevens coach, Paul Treu, a former accolade winner
with South Africa Sevens and his predecessor as Kenya Sevens coach Mike
Friday, a former England coach now heading USA Sevens, had “put Kenya
Sevens players on steroids”.
Friday’s instant retort to the Capital FM Sports was: “You [Capital
FM Sports] will need very good lawyers if you don't publicly retract and
apologize for these lies.”
Wary of allegations and mention of people in the Wekesa report that
could attract libel action, some mainstream publications in Kenya,
including the largest circulation newspaper the “Nation”, avoided
altogether, in their edition on October 18, coverage of the handing
over of the report to the Minister the previous day.
“The Saturday Standard,” avoided sensational headlines and also apparently edited alarming allegations and references to some individuals.
While the “Standard” coverage almost stuck to the narrative
of the Wekesa report, the Capital FM Sports version introduced many
extraneous statements, facts and interpretation hardly consistent with
contents of the booklet handed to the Minister.
The KRU, while supporting the establishment of a Kenyan Anti-Doping
Agency which the Government says will be enacted with proper legislation
by January 1, 2016, said they strongly questioned “the ethical
foundation of the Wekesa committee war on doping.
“Its so-called findings consist of largely unsubstantiated
assumptions, dubious claims and sources within sports associations whose
integrity can be challenged,” the KRU chairman said.
The “Standard” also highlighted the fact that Athletics
Kenya [AK] who together with Football Kenya Federation [FKF] were also
focus of the Wekesa report, though invited to the handing over ceremony
“were conspicuous by the absence.”
But when the Wekesa committee was formed in November last year, AK
instantly questioned its qualifications and flatly refused to
When the Wekesa committee attempted to interview athletes at a
convention in the Kenyan city of Eldoret in late November, AK chairman,
Isaiah Kiplagat ordered that no athlete should submit to Wekesa’s
He told the athletes: “Nobody should come here to interview you. They
should find their own day to do that. They should not depend on our
organisation and pretend to be working.”
Kiplagat said Kenyan athletes had suffered from their image being
tainted by allegations of banned drug use by people with ill motives.
He said Kenyan athletes submitted to the credible anti-doping regime
of WADA and routinely accepted the rulings of the world body. He added
that AK did not have the capacity for local testing and called upon the
Government to establish a qualified anti-doping agency, preferably
approved by WADA.
Until then, Kiplagat’s stand was that AK would oppose ad hoc groups that alleged widespread drug abuse existed among athletes.
“These accusations should come to a stop,” he said adding: “Over 650
athletes were tested last year  and only 17 out of those… largely
lesser knowns, failed tests. Our top cream athletes are fine.
“Just leave Kenyan athletes alone and in peace, “ Kiplagat had told the Wekesa committee.
Muthee said it would take the Minister’s “quick steps to repair, even
rudimentary, the terrible damage caused by careless statements and wild
allegations made by the Wekesa report.”
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