A senior athletics authority official has disclosed that a top Kenyan athlete has run away from anti-doping testers who had visited their training camp to take samples.
The visit which was unannounced was part of plans from Kenyan authorities to beef up efforts in the fight against doping. So far, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has not given further details on the incident.
Despite producing some of the world’s best middle and long-distance athletes, the East African nation has been caught in a string of doping scandals over the last five years – a period that has seen around 60 of its athletes sanctioned for dope related offenses.
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Confirming the incident, a member of the Athletics Kenya Executive Committee, Barnaba Korir, told Reuters, the top athlete escaped when anti-doping testers visited their camp in Kapsabet, Nandi County in the country’s west.
“After testers introduced themselves and why they visited the camp, one athlete left as if to answer a call of nature only to jump through the window and over the fence,” Korir told Reuters by phone.
“They won’t escape from the tough measures put in place, however fast they run away and however long it takes.”
Korir declined to divulge more details and say whether or not the athlete being sought had won any international races.
“He is a fairly well-known athlete,” he said when asked for more details on Thursday.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report in September 2018, 138 Kenyan athletes tested positive from 2004 to August 2018.
Meanwhile, in 2016, WADA put Kenya on its Category A list of nations on the watch for anti-doping violations.
Kenyan authorities plan to impose criminal penalties which includes jail term on athletes caught doping.