'Keep off our seminar!' Kiplagat tells Anti-doping task force

By evelyn watta
Nov 26, 2013
  • From L-R: Maureen Jelagat, World silver medalist Consenslus Korir and Mathew Kisorio listen on during the Athletes seminar at Sirikiwa Hotel.(Photo:SNA)

The Athletes education seminar opened on Tuesday in Eldoret with Athletics Kenya, AK, President Isaiah Kiplagat striking a tough and uncompromising tone towards any interruptions by the task force on Anti-doping that will be holding its session in the city.

Kiplagat also hit out at the Sports Ministry for skipping the all important education seminar in a year that the focus has been on Kenyan runners over rising doping cases.

The Daily Nation reported that the Chairman of the Government formed task force Moni Wekesa which is probing claims of wide spread doping amongst Kenyan athletes, will visit the Sirikwa hotel, the venue of the AK seminar to collect views from the coaches and the Athletes.

“We are here for the seminar and the gala and nothing else,” said Kiplagat.

“No athlete or coach will be interviewed by the task force during this time. We are here for a purpose and we don’t want the athletes to be interfered with during this training time.”

The absence of any official from the sports ministry also incensed the AK boss who felt there should have been more involvement from Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario’s docket.

Only county representatives led by the Uasin Gishu Speaker Isaac Terer were represented on the opening day of the three-year forum that climaxes with the awards gala on Thursday evening.

“The Ministry of sports is not represented here for the second year running. The government should be taking the lead in such sensitization efforts especially now that Kenyan runners have been in the limelight this season.”

He continued: “The Government is the first to criticize us, when we don’t perform according to expectations. They should be here to discuss the programmes instead of waiting to raise concerns that the runners after the championships.”

150 runners taking part 

Top athletes led by world record holders David Rudisha(800m) and Wilson Kipsang(marathon) are among over 150 track and field runners attending the seminar.

“I really value this session because I got my Orange sponsorship deal after the seminar. Am sure many more other Youtubes will come up after these because they will be enlightened,” said Julius Yego, fourth at the world championships.

The sessions deals with legal matters, the dreaded taxation issues, insurance, retirement savings and benefit, investments education and even how to enhance their media relations and improve their earnings through endorsements.

The athletes will also get tips on their nutrition, sports psychology, and training programmes as well as guidance on how to avoid some common injuries.