Sunday, November 14, 2010

Athletics Kenya to subject all marathoners to doping tests


All local marathons will be subjected to doping tests next year to reduce Kenya’s doping cases at international athletics arena.

Athletics Kenya (AK) has stated they do not want embarrassment should local athletes be caught cheating on races abroad.

“It is now mandatory that athletes will be subjected to doping tests in all local marathons and other races as from next year. We want Kenya to remain clean,” AK Secretary General, David Okeyo, said yesterday. AK has further said that no marathon will give out less than Sh200,000 as prize money for the champions.

“We have noted with great concern how race organisers receive huge amounts of money from sponsors, but pay winners peanuts.

It does not make sense when a race is sponsored to a tune of Sh20 million and the winner receives Sh75,000,” added AK chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat.

AK is in a process of integrating all the four local impressive marathons (Nairobi Standard Chartered, Mombasa, Kisumu and Kass) into a grand prix with national jackpot prize money next year.

Kiplagat explained AK has discussed the issue and is waiting consent from the marathon organisers.

Four races

“Athletes will have to compete in three of the four races to qualify for the jackpot prize to be announced later,” Kiplagat said.

The AK chairman was speaking yesterday at the federation’s headquarters at Riadha House during the launch of Kisumu 2010 Safaricom Marathon. Safaricom has sponsored the December 5 race to the tune of Sh1.3 million.

The race will commence at Awasi and will end at Kisumu’s Kenyatta Sports Ground.

Winners in the women and men’s categories will bag Sh200,000 each, while, runners up will take home Sh70,000, as third place finishers pocket Sh50,000. The fourth and fifth finishers will take home Sh30,000 and Sh20,000.

AK said Kisumu and Mombasa marathons have always favoured international athletes because of their low altitudes. Corporates have been urged to help title sponsors Safaricom so as to propel Kisumu marathon into an international competition with lucrative prizes.

AK praised last year’s winner, Eliud Kiptanui who went a head to shatter records at the Prague Marathon with a record 2:05.00 finish this year.

AK noted that this year, Kenya has won 43 out of 50 marathon races in the world.

“From this record, we can also make our own international marathon at home and Kisumu will be the best option,” said Kiplagat.