Kenya Has a Doping Problem

Officials plan new national anti-doping agency

Kenyan marathoner Rita Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in September. (BU Interactive News/Flickr)

Following Friday’s news that Kenyan long-distance runner and Boston Marathon record-holder Rita Jeptoo tested positive for a banned substance, Kenyan officials have announced plans to address the country’s doping problem.

Kenyan cabinet secretary Hassan Wario Arero told Reuters that the country has a “very clear road map,” including a planned anti-doping agency that “will have teeth” to deal with uncooperative sports federations.

Aside from that agency, set to open by the end of this year, there are few details on the rest of the road map. “We are taking baby steps, but I think we are heading in the right direction,” Wario said.

Wario spearheaded an April study by the Kenyan Anti-Doping Taskforce (PDF) that reported 30 Kenyan athletes have tested positive for banned substances in recent years and accused Kenya’s track and field federation of lax follow-up. The World Anti-Doping Agency raised the same concerns beginning in 2012, stating in 2013 that it was “very frustrated” with Kenya’s lack of progress on the issue.

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