AIU and ADAK set 5,000 target as testing ramps for Kenyan Athletes

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MONACO: An unprecedented program of drug testing continues in Kenyan athletics, with seven times more testing at the National Championships and World Championships in Athletics Trials than last year – the effort kicks into high gear in the Trials today and tomorrow.

A joint effort by the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) and the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency (ADAK) will see as many as 390 tests done at these key events this year; 185 at the National Championships last month (June 22-24) and 205 at the Trials. This is a huge increase from the 55 total at the National Championships and Trials in 2022, as the two agencies are targeting 5,000 tests next year.

Various tests are also carried out this season. In addition to urine and blood samples, Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and EPO tests will be performed and Dried Blood Stain (DBS) samples will be taken for the first time. Ahead of the Trials at Nyayo National Stadium this weekend, important out-of-competition tests were carried out undetected at the athletes’ homes and training camps.

By combining ADAK and AIU testing programs, we aim to test up to 5,000 next year. This will be the new norm for Kenyan athletes – concentrated, targeted and regular testing both in and out of competition.

We all know that there is a huge doping problem in Kenya and the Government has committed to eliminating it. AIU is working closely with ADAK, Athletics Kenya (AK) and other Kenyan authorities to implement a robust testing program to catch cheaters and deter other athletes from doing the same.AIU Head of Testing, Thomas Capdevielle, is now in Kenya for Trials.

With funding from the Kenyan Government of US$5 million (a total of US$25 million) over the next five years, AIU will consult with Kenyan officials on capacity building in testing and other aspects of the country’s athletics-integrity programme. This includes investigations, intelligence, education, case management and communications.

ADAK is expected to reach record testing levels in the second half of this year. The number of athletes in the National Registered Testing Pool, controlled by ADAK for non-competitive testing, will increase from 38 in 2022 to over 300. These athletes are those tested out of competition by the Registered Testing Pool and AIU, in addition to the 140 elite Kenyan athletes who are part of the International Association. In-competition testing will also be greatly increased by ADAK at training camps and other events throughout the year.

Increasing testing depth is vital in a country with so many talents, but it’s more than just a numbers game. Quality is as important as quantity, so one of our key AIU testing managers will be in Kenya for the next two years to assist ADAK in building a world-class intelligence-based testing program.Capdevielle,” he detailed.

Under Rule 15 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations), Kenya is currently Category A listed; athletics. Kenya currently has the highest number of doping cases among Category A National Federations, with a total of 184 Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) since the AIU’s inception in 2017, with the highest number (44) last year. There have been 19 AAFs for Kenyan athletes so far in 2023. Given the increased testing that will take place, that number is expected to increase in the coming months.

Friday, 07 July 2023

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