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Friday, 26 February 2021

Athletics: Kenya hits back at new doping allegations

AFP , Sunday 2 Aug 2015
Views: 894
Views: 894

Kenya's athletics federation on Sunday hit back at renewed doping allegations levelled by a German broadcaster against its fabled distance runners, calling the claims "libellous".

On Saturday ARD alleged doping was ongoing in Kenya, and claimed there was "massive corruption" within the Kenyan set-up and "a desire to cover-up the summit of the Kenyan athletics federation".

"We have watched with grave concern the German TV ARD documentary," Athletics Kenya said in a statement, calling the broadcast, which coincided with the national trials for the upcoming world championships in Beijing, "extremely suspect and ill motivated".

"The documentary not only makes serious and sweeping allegations on doping but also makes serious allegations on the integrity of our current and former leaders, including our sponsor without giving them an opportunity to respond to the allegations," Athletics Kenya said.

It also said the documentary was "largely based on private and confidential data as well as forged documents ostensibly from AK which are now a subject of investigations."

"The Federation always welcomes any information which would help fight the vice of doping. But we cannot fail to point out that the documentary is an attempt to smear our runners with unwarranted suspicion as they prepare to undertake duty for their country in Beijing," it added.

Athletics Kenya also insisted it has been "at the forefront of identifying doping as a problem and in the past two years we have devoted a lot of time and resources to combat the vice."

"On claims of financial impropriety on our top leadership, past and present, we have instructed our legal team to study the documentary with a view of bringing legal action against the TV Station and the author," it said.

Kenya was rocked this year when marathon star Rita Jeptoo was banned for two years after being caught doping with the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO.

Jeptoo is the biggest name in Kenyan sports ever to have been caught, and the bust has been a major trauma for a country that idolises its medal-winning and record-breaking runners.

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