A quote by Ken Doherty, an Irish professional snooker player and radio presenter states that “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.”
The world of sports is a very competitive field as each athlete strives to be the greatest, with hopes in their heart and dreams in their minds. What can one not do to achieve greatness?
Kenya over the years has been known for its great achievements in the world of sports and more specifically in the field of athletics. Having big names such as Eliud Kipchoge (world record marathon holder) and Wilson Kipsang among others, placing Kenya’s name in the maps all over the world.
However there is a great meanness which is threatening this achievement and it goes by the name of Doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency defines doping as the presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s bodily Specimen. Examples of this prohibited substance include steroids, norandrosterone and triamcinolone acetonide- substances used for weight loss, muscle building and endurance.
A statement released by Athletics Integrity Unite (AIU) several years back showed that a total of 138 Kenyan athletes across all sports had tested positive for prohibited substances between 2004 and August 2018.
In 2022, 45 athletes were sanctioned for Anti-Doping Rule Violations by the AIU and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), with 20 other cases still under review. Unfortunately we have been listed as a Category A (nations with the highest prevalence of doping) country for the last five years.
The most recent case is that of Kenyan runner Lilian Kasait, who has been issued with a 10 month ban. This comes after her blood sample tested positive for Letrozole.
Cabinet secretary of sports, Ababu Namwamba recently released a statement assuring Kenyans that the government will take great measures to ensure that the integrity of athletics and sports in Kenya is upheld.
“We cannot allow our nation to be banned because of the actions of some greedy unethical individuals. We will target and deal decisively with the criminals and their syndicates. We must work together to eradicate doping and cheating from athletics and sports in general,” Namwamba said in the statement issued in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Top athlete Eliud Kichoge termed the cases of doping in Kenya as a national embarrassment, however he went on to encourage every Kenyan athlete to run clean and leave a legacy.
To conclude, we as Kenyans and athletes should protect our pride as a nation and keep the spirit of sportsmanship thriving by ensuring cases of doping are greatly reduced in Kenya.
BY SHILOH JEDIDAH