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Substance abuse rampant in Kenyan football

18 October 2014, 10:23

Nairobi - There is no doping control in Kenyan football with cannabis Sativa, cathine, cocaine, anabolic steroids, stimulants and alcohol being the drugs of choice among the country's players, a government-backed report reveals.

The Anti-Doping Taskforce report released Friday slams Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for lacking dope testing and allocating no budget for testing or prevention of substance abuse in the sport.

"There is a lot of use of prohibited substances in soccer such as cannabis sativa, cathine, cocaine, anabolic steroids, stimulants and alcohol. Most of these products are locally available from coaches and team members," says the report by a probe committee commissioned last year by Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario.

"Other products are imported and sold clandestinely by drug peddlers," the report of the taskforce chaired by Professor Moni Wekesa said of football.

"Due to affiliation to FIFA, the national body is bound by FIFA Anti-Doping Rules. The Kenyan Premier League occasionally organizes seminars where they include the topic anti-doping. FKF has no programme of implementing the Anti-Doping Rules and does not carry out any doping tests or conducted any sensitization on doping issues," the report says.

Kenyan players usually partake in drug use for recreational purposes, with the popular herbal stimulant, khat (Chata Edulis) locally known as Miraa the most commonly abused with cathine its main ingredient.

FKF president, Sam Nyamweya said the only leader of a major discipline present at the releasing of the report by Wario at a Nairobi hotel on Friday, hailed the findings.

"Our players have to stop smoking bhang and chewing miraa. It has become a major problem and FKF will use the report's findings to set up anti-doping structures since we are losing a lot of talent," he added.

Peter Opiyo is the only Kenyan footballer on record to test positive for substance abuse when he was sent home from South African side Bush Buck for cannabis use.

- Xinhua

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