KIP Keino, President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) on Saturday appealed for a prison sentence for coaches and agents who encourage drug use in the country.
According to “Inside Games,” an online news portal, it said the president was seeking talks with Hassan Wario, Kenyan Parliamentary Committee on Sports, to strengthen laws against doping.
The news portal said it was a reoccurring habit that needed to be curbed because it was tainting the country’s reputation.
“The reputation of our sportsmen and women has been tainted beyond any imagination, I believe making it a criminal offence will reduce indulgence,” it quoted Keino as saying.
The portal, however, noted that last year, Germany appealed to Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to make it a criminal offence but the move was criticised.
It also said that William Ruto, Kenya’s Deputy President, had backed Keino by claiming that the involvement of foreign agents and managers were behind the epidemic.
“Kenya has stood out for decades, since the 1960s, when Ben Jipcho, Kipchoge Keino and many others were involved in sports and we never had instances of doping.
“It is only in the last year or two that we have begun to see Kenyans suspected or tested and found to be using drugs.
“Most of the explanations we are getting from Athletics Kenya are associated with some of the managers of our sportsmen,’’ it quoted Ruto as saying.
It also added that a total of 26 Kenyan athletes tested positive for banned drugs last year, including Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.