Anti-Doping: Campaign to deliver “clean team” to the Paris Olympics gains momentum

Anti-Doping: Campaign to deliver “clean team” to the Paris Olympics gains momentum

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) is determined to deliver a clean team to the forthcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

ADAK Head of Anti-Doping Education and Research Dr Martin Sisa noted that the Agency has already done mandatory testing for all teams headed to the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

Dr. Sisa revealed that the testing started in September last year through to the stipulated World Athletics deadline on July 4.

Speaking during the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Anti-Doping Seminar, Dr. Sisa added that ADAK has already tested more than 4135 athletes and reached out to 8500 stakeholders in athletics alone.

He noted that ADAK has also tested 1348 athletes in other disciplines and reached 16,512 stakeholders, by and large.

Dr Sisa clarified that athletics has been tested more than other disciplines given the fact that it had been categorized as a high-risk sport.

“We have been working closely with the WADA Africa office which has been very supportive of our programs. We are also working hand in hand with the regional anti-doping organization to advance the fight against doping,” said Dr Sisa.

Sisa expounded: “We have been doing a lot of testing for athletes over the past year to ensure that we deliver a clean team to the Olympics. We have also undertaken both testing and education for the athletes and their entourages and the program is taking shape considerably well.”

Sisa continued: “We have tested more numbers compared to other anti-doping originations globally and there are athletes who have been tested more than thrice just to ensure that all is well. We wanted to do an out-of-competition testing ostensibly to deliver an intelligence-based testing.”

Dr Sisa added that they are helping the Olympic team by visiting them in their camps for testing and sensitizing them on anti-doping “to deliver a clean sport and indeed avert the myriad cases witnessed during the Rio Olympics in 2016.”

SJAK President James Waindi, on his part, thanked ADAK for their unwavering support and partnership with sports scribes over the years.

Waindi said: “It’s a great honour to be here again. We thank ADAK for making this workshop an annual event. This year’s workshop is particularly a significant one given that this is an Olympic year and that journalists need a lot of education in understanding the dynamics of doping.”

ADAK CEO Sarah Shibutse, whose speech was read by Dr. Sisa, underscored the input of sports scribes as key stakeholders in the campaign against doping.

“Journalists can contribute to the fight by exposing doping scandals through investigative journalism and uncovering doping practices, often bringing hidden issues to light. By exposing these scandals, they can prompt action from sports authorities and the government,” said Shibutse.

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