Nairobi — Athletes have been urged to emulate world marathon record holder and Frankfurt Marathon titleholder, Patrick Makau as a model example of how to avoid sanctions related to missing out-of-competition drug tests.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Athletics Kenya (AK) general secretary, David Okeyo, urged the runners to adhere to the requirements of the Whereabouts Form so that Doping Control Officers (DCOs) can have no problem with accessing them.
"Once you are a top athlete and named in the top 30 in the world ranking, DCOs appointed by the IAAF will come to you without your knowledge.
"Should they come and fail to find you where you had indicated in the Whereabouts Form, they will charge you for a missed test which is almost equivalent to actual doping," he added.
"All athletes should do what Makau is doing. He always observes his Whereabouts Form and he has never had any problem. When he says he trains at Ngong between this period and this period, they find him there.
"If he knows something else will happen, he informs them and copy's AK on where he will be found and therefore, he does not fall into any problem," Okeyo explained.
The local federation chief who announced three distance runners had been sanctioned for doping violations last Friday stated AK was in the process of a vigorous sensitisation campaign to stem the vice.
"We have been giving education on this issue to our athletes, coaches and their managers but above all, they must be careful about what enters their bodies.
"As a federation we cannot always be there and we are urging them to communicate with us since some of the athletes who have been sanctioned is as a result of ignorance," he explained.
Wilson Erupe Loyanae and Nixon Kiplagat Cherutich will serve a suspension of two years each with Moses Kiptoo Kurgat being sanctioned for a year after both A and B samples returned positive results for proscribed substance abuse.
Erupe tested positive for EPO, or erythropoietin, in an out-of-competition test conducted last year, the first Kenyan athlete to be caught using the bannned drug hormone which increases the red blood cell count.
Kiplagat tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone, after competing in a race in Mexico.
Francis Kibiwott, who represented the country at the 2007 World Half Marathon in Udine, Italy, finishing 45th, was pardoned after his case was positively reviewed by the medical commission of world body, IAAF.
"Someone like Moses said he was treated for an ailment but he did not declare he had received the treatment and ignorance has never been a defence and one (Kibiwott) came before the medical commission and explained his case and was pardoned," Okeyo stressed.
"It does not mean that because you have tested positive, you cannot be pardoned."
The secretary general slammed assertion by retired three-time steeplechase world champion, Moses Kiptanui who claimed that doping was rampant among Kenyan runners fuelled by the greed to make money.
"We have isolated cases in this country. Recently you heard about Australians and nobody was branding their athletes in totality they are people using drugs. Likewise in Kenya, we have isolated cases.
"You cannot brand all Kenyan athletes that they are using drugs. I'm challenging my friend Kiptanui to come forward with any evidence he has. If he is saying blankly that everybody is using without evidence, we cannot accept," he charged.