Kenya seeks to set up anti-doping testing lab

Kenya athletic team

Kenya Athletics (AK) officials want China and Norway together with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to speed up their efforts to build a sample testing laboratory in Nairobi to boost the fight against doping.

This comes after the revelation in Beijing World Championships that two of Kenya’s sprint runners — Joyce Zakary and Francisca Koki — tested positive to banned substances during their in-competition tests done in the Chinese capital.

Joyce Zakary
Francisca Koki

AK CEO Isaac Mwangi said it makes the need for Kenya to have a functional sample testing laboratory more urgent, stating that it would increase the frequency of doing tests in the country.

Currently only Johannesburg has a laboratory accredited and sanctioned by WADA to handle dope samples tests in Africa.

Kenya government, with help from China, Norway and WADA, has promised to have a functional centre in Nairobi before the 2017 World Youth Championships, which will be held in Nairobi.

AK acting President Jackson Tuwei said that AK has been at the forefront of identifying doping as a problem and in the past two years; it 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 from China and Norway.

The nabbing of Zakary and Koki, two average sprinters in Beijing, the need for the laboratory is more urgent as it offers a reality check for the country, which has dominated the middle and long distance races and has successfully made a niche for itself in the sprints and field events competitions.

“Athletics Kenya has already met with the IAAF and the athletes involved, and has begun investigating the situation which led to these results and appropriate follow-up action will be taken in Kenya,” he said, adding that Athletics Kenya will provide full support and cooperation to the IAAF during results management process.

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