Perhaps WADA and AIU should use this COVID 19 period to test their testing efficiency on the general public

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Justin Lagat has offered an interesting idea that could add to the success of WADA and AIU. In this time of Covid 19, Justin Lagat has an alternative way to add more credibility to the current testiing procedures.

IMG_2049.JPGA cross country race in Kenya, photo by Justin Lagat

Bad and good news regarding doping in athletics keeps coming out even during this time when there are no competitions happening. These are bad news in that there are athletes that still dope; and good news in that they are getting caught.

This week, more doping cases came out, and two Kenyan runners; Japhet Kipchirchir Kiprotich and Mikel Kiprotich Mutai were mentioned. The latest high profile Kenyan runner to have been implicated and who vehemently denied doping was the 2017 London Marathon champion, Daniel Wanjiru.

"This statement comes from the heart. I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP (athlete biological passport) finding is confusing and frustrating me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realise there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating," Wanjiru had spoken to a local newspaper in Kenya. "I've always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I've realized that being charged with guilt is just easy and now proving to be unguilty is hard," Wanjiru had added.

For the next few months, many road races will not be happening across the world. The races happening currently are mostly the virtual races that do not offer any prize money and it appears that there is very little or no competition testing going on at the moment. The only testing going on is for the substances that are prohibited at all times.

With the little competition tests happening, perhaps WADA and AIU should consider using the resources they would be using in competitions to randomly test the general public and check if it is possible that some positive results indeed happen from the food we take at restaurants, or that changes in blood profiles may reach suspicious levels in any other person in the street who is not hoping to win a race.

Some of the runners implicated are persons we know personally, and who keep maintaining their innocence and requesting for their samples to be re-tested. Sometimes, the runners caught may suspect that the food they took, or supplements, may have been contaminated and resulted in positive results. Some wonder whether their change in their eating, training, re-location from high to low altitudes, habits, and lifestyles may be the cause of the changes in their blood biological passports.

If random tests on the general public will be done in an open way where samples are taken and results announced, it will help in building the confidence in their systems. If for example, they randomly take samples from around one hundred people in places where there is a high concentration of runners and all those results return negative, then it will help in showing that any runners found in the future will have no reason to believe that the positives may have resulted in the food that everyone takes in their community.

On the other hand, if out of the hundred samples taken from the general public returns some positive results, even from people who had no intention to compete in any upcoming races, then more measures would be taken to prevent any inaccurate results in the future.

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