Ex-Kenyan star runner says registration of athletics coaches curb doping incidences

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NAIROBI, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- A former Kenyan international athlete said on Thursday the ongoing registration of coaches by the parent organization will curb incidences of doping in the athletics-mad nation.

Barnaba Korir, who did duty for the east African nation in middle and long distance races, said the exercise was long overdue, and if undertaken earlier, would have control the doping menace that has put the country on the radar of global anti-doping authorities.

"Truth be told, we have operated poorly in the past by allowing people to hover around our athletes in the pretext of coaching them," said Korir, who is in charge of youth development at Athletics Kenya.

"We have not had clear lines on who qualifies as a coach and it is now time to rectify this," he told Xinhua in Nairobi.

Doping among Kenya runners is not carried out in a haphazard manner, but by cartels that profit at the expense of upcoming and top athletes by making easy money from them, most who want to win races and prize money by any means necessary.

However, unknown to most of the runners, and which the cartels conveniently hide from mentioning to them, is that the athletes put their lives and careers at risk and can crumble fame and fortune, sometimes in a matter of hours once they are busted.

The cartels have been operating in training camps where they give athletes injections for Erythropoietin (EPO) and other enhancing substances to boost performance, while 'assuring' them it won't be detected.

Korir said the exercise will no doubt be for the good of athletes and all need to accord it the seriousness it deserves.

The process targets the registration, approval and licensing of officials who want to work in the country, both local and foreign and those who will not have registered with the national governing body will not be allowed to handles athletes.

Officials of Athletics Kenya have warned that they will be forced to involve other government agencies in cases where individuals do not present themselves for registration but continue to handle athletes, and reiterated that the exercise will be extended to athletes, training camps and medical personnel. Enditem

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