Rudisha says young ‘fools’ behind Kenya's doping woes

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 02, 2021
  • David Rudisha at the 2015 world championships where he won gold.

World 800m record holder David Rudisha says the country's doping problems were caused by “foolish” young athletes desperate to win races and cash in on the sport.

Rudisha who is Melbourne, Australia for the IAAF World Challenge meeting reckons Kenya is on the right track to restoring its reputation.

“It’s really sad, it’s really unfortunate that this is happening because Kenya previously has a really good reputation,” reigning world and Olympic champion Rudisha told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

“And for many years Kenya has been doing well on the athletics stage, winning championships without this problem. A few years ago this problem has been coming. “But it’s really tough. Because these young athletes who are desperate to make money, to win races, they end up being fools and getting into these drugs.”

Rudisha told reporters that he did not feel the doping problem was widespread in Kenya, but said the country lacked infrastructure to monitor the thousands of runners.

“A lot of education needs to be done,” he said. “Like some of the countries which are not having a lot of infrastructure — we don’t even have a lot in Kenya — and you find that it’s very difficult for the anti-doping agency to control this situation because there are thousands and thousands of Kenyans training out there and only a few of them are on the WADA list. “You can imagine how difficult (that is).”

Rudisha would not comment directly when asked whether he was confident his title defence would go ahead but said he was hopeful Kenya and the sport’s reputation could be restored.

“We hope that things are in place,” he told Reuters of Kenya’s battle to become WADA-compliant before the deadline.

“We are optimistic that these things are going to be wiped out completely so that our sport will be clean and athletes can compete fairly. So we can all celebrate that everybody who has worked hard deserves what he gets.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency has given the country an April deadline to implement new anti-doping measures or risk non-compliance, which could pave the way for a ban on its track and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.

Rudisha, who will open his season at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday, said his London time would be hard to beat. “It’s tough, we can’t be seeing a world record every day, it’s something special,” said Rudisha.

“I broke it in 2010 and 2012, so you can see it’s tough. I’m looking forward to (trying), but getting a time close to the record would make me happy.

“But it will be tough to beat it. We’ll see how the year goes.”

CAS to take over all Olympic doping cases 

Meanwhile, The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has agreed to delegate the decisions on alleged anti-doping rule violations during the Olympic Games to an independent body. A new Anti-doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will handle cases from the Olympic Games in Rio onwards.

The CAS Anti-Doping Division will replace the IOC Disciplinary Commission to hear and decide on doping cases at the Olympic Games, as well as the subsequent re-analysis of samples taken at the Games.