TOKYO 2020: Kenya’s sprinter Mark Otieno fails drug test

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A supporter holds a Kenya flag in the women's preliminary round pool A volleyball match between Japan and Kenya during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP)
A supporter holds a Kenya flag in the women’s preliminary round pool A volleyball match between Japan and Kenya during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP via CFP)

Kenya’s struggles at the 2020 Olympics continued on Saturday with sprinter Mark Otieno failing a drug test ahead of his race.

The test results come hours before the Men’s 100m race hits begin later today.

Kenya will now be represented by one sprinter, Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa, who will line up in Heat 5.

The latest development not only dips Kenyans’ excitement following the commencement of the track events, but also adds a stain onto the East African country’s athletics portfolio.

Kenya has been working to clear its name following reports of doping by a number of its athletes in recent years.

Notable names of Kenyan athletes that have previously been banned for doping include 2016 Olympic women’s marathon champion Jemima Sumgong and former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang. Former 1500 metres champions Asbel Kiprop and Elijah Manangoi were also banned.

In efforts to curb the vice, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in December 2020 signed into law an Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill.

Kenyatta said at the time that the legislation was aimed at aligning Kenya’s legislative framework with the 2021 World Anti-Doping code and regulations.

Kenya, which is the most successful African country in the history of the Olympics, is yet to clinch a medal at the ongoing Tokyo Games.

The country is banking on its track athletes to obtain Olympic medals.

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