Nairobi — The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Cabinet Secretary nominee Ababu Namwamba has warned that the recent, rampant cases of doping involving Kenyan athletes risks soiling the country's reputation as an athletics powerhouse.
Namwamba said this vice has hugely contributed to the current turmoil that is the sports industry.
"Kenya is in the midst of a doping crisis. This year alone, we have had no less than 30 cases, which is threatening to shatter the very fine glitter of Kenya as a sporting nation," Namwamba said.
Namwamba further pinpointed rogue agents as some of the biggest perpetrators of the vice, misleading many athletes into committing anti-doping offences.
"We have rogue agents who do not seem to pay any regard to the laws of the land. I have reason to believe ... from past experience and from the information I have received... that they are part of the syndicate that is drawing our athletes into these increasing doping cases," he said.
The latest athlete to incur the wrath of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for doping offences is two-time Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem who was yesterday slapped with a three-year ban for the use of the prohibited substance EPO.
This turn of events is a setback to the country's efforts to get itself out of Category A, which earmarks it as one of the countries that are hotspots of doping offences.
Namwamba was speaking Friday evening when he appeared before parliament for vetting ahead of his possible confirmation.
Namwamba, who served in the same capacity seven years ago, vowed to move with speed and clean up the mess in the sports sector, including athletics.
"Should I be cleared to hold this office, I am determined to move with haste and start cleaning up this mess," he said.