Kenya Excels in Running, but Lags in Anti doping, by Juliet Macur, for the New York Times


This morning, when I was on the global press conference for the WADA Independent Conference, I asked Mr. Pound one question. My question was about the lack of consistency of testing in Kenya and Ethiopia. Mr. Pound responded about the need to bring Kenya's testing up to grade.

That, simply is the issue.

The following article, but Juliet Macut, is one of the best pieces that I have read in some time on the issue. For some time, Kenyan officials just did not believe it was happening. Their national resource, distance running, was so vast, how would someone be silly enough to cheat?

But, the problem has been getting worse.

The Kenyan Federation needs to take their issues seriously, as their national resource of distance running is at risk. Many great Kenyan runners, who have raced and trained and raced cleanly, are being debased by a system that has little or no checks on cheating.

Runners in Sunday's New York City Marathon. Antidoping officials have raised concerns about testing of Kenyan athletes. CreditMichelle V. Agins/The New York Times

In case you haven't noticed, Kenya's runners are good. Lately, they are better than ever.

Last spring at the London Marathon, Kenyan men finished first, second, third and fourth. Over the summer, at the world track and field championships in Beijing, Kenyans topped the medals table for the first time, with seven gold medals, six silver and three bronze.

And on Sunday, Kenyan runners captured the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon for the third year in a row.

But that's where this feel-good story ends.

The reason is simple: Kenya cannot assure the world that any of its athletes is drug-free, at least based on evidence collected by its national antidoping program. World Anti-Doping Agency officials say the Kenyan antidoping agency exists in name only.

The government established the agency in the past year but has yet to finance it, WADA officials recently told me.

To read the story in its original form, please go to:

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