We have watched with grave concern the German TV ARD documentary aired on Saturday, August 1st 2015 on serious allegations of doping levelled against our athletes.
The timing of the libellous report contained in almost half of the 55 minute documentary which alleges widespread systematic doping in Kenya is extremely suspect and ill motivated, coming on the day we selected our team for the IAAF World Championships.
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. The documentary is made largely based on private and confidential data as well as forged documents ostensibly from AK which are now a subject of investigations by the relevant authorities.
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, China. The unwarranted claims on the Kenyan athletes are deliberately aimed at derailing the preparations and the participation of the Kenyan team in the World Championships. We stand firm in declaring that our team will continue its preparations despite these attacks which are perpetuated by the same reporter Hajo Seppelt who had made similar allegations three years ago. Our teams Youth, Junior and Senior teams have continued to perform well in the World stage despite the allegations that Hajo Seppelt has levelled against us. In fact it is important to indicate that the author of the documentary has not contacted Athletics Kenya for any clarifications as claimed on the documentary.
AK 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 with the assistance of IAAF, the World Anti-Doping Agency, Kenyan Government and international partners such as China and Norway. We have committed resources on doping sensitisation of our athletes at annual seminars and our leaders have used every available platform to emphasise the dangers and perils of using banned substances. Our mission as a National Federation in conjunction with our partners is to ensure a clean sport of athletics and therefore will do everything within our mandate to tackle the issues of doping.
In our continued fight against doping we have sanctioned a number of athletes found to be in violation and the information is in the public arena. This is besides ordering all our sanctioned events, not only at national but also regional (grassroots) level to have doping control as mandatory requirement.
In this week alone, the Government through Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario announced that the IAAF assisted testing lab will soon be set up in Nairobi to step up the fight against the vice.
Athletics Kenya is also in the process of concluding investigations in conjunction with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ministry of Health through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board into suppliers, users and any other persons involved in the sale, distribution and administering of prohibited substances.
Parts of the documentary that show runners allegedly being injected with what is said to be EPO are alarming and we would be glad if those who gave information to Mr. Seppelt and ARD to provide the same to us or relative authorities for action.
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.
We will continue to study the report further and give due correspondence in due course.
We encourage our athletes to continue preparations and maintain focus towards the IAAF World Championships.