• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:54 PM
  • Nairobi

ADAK embarks on tree planting drive as they fight against doping in sports

ADAK embarks on tree planting drive as they fight against doping in sports


Monday May 27 2024,

KNA by Judy Too

The Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has embarked on a tree planting exercise where it planted over 2,000 seedlings over the weekend in Elgeyo forest, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Planting of trees has emerged as a powerful sustainable solution to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change according to ADAK Chief Executive Officer Sarah Shibutse.

Shibutse said that the agency saw fit to plant trees as a way of trying to reach the 15 billion trees that President William Ruto has set as a target by 2032.

“As an agency this is a major event that we are doing alongside ADAK board members and management to just ensure that we are playing our role in having Kenya achieve a bigger forest coverage,” she said.

“Most athletes train in Elgeyo Marakwet county therefore it is significant to plant trees here as they like this place because it is a high-altitude area and am sure the forest cover helps them especially in regaining their red blood cells easily and for them to have better oxygen intake as that helps them run better,” she added.

She noted that as an institution, apart from creating awareness on anti-doping they are doing their bit to help have a better environment for athletes to train in.

“As we prepare for the Olympics in Paris France, we have done our part as an institution we have an enhanced programme that we are collaborating with Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and Athletics Kenya (AK) which started last year in January and we have managed to test almost all athletes who will be participating,” she revealed.

She explained that in terms of other sports disciplines, they have been testing and educating the athletes as they get their names from various federations, especially those who have qualified to participate in the various sports disciplines during the Olympics.

She affirmed that this time around they are going to take a cleaner team as they have taken in other editions.

“We have made good progress. We included about 300 athletes in the registered testing pool and so far, I can say we have tested all of them at least each of those athletes have done more than one test,” said Shibutse.

She said that from last year up to date 4000 samples have been collected from athletes this was to ensure that any athlete who is going to participate in any international event is able to do so.

“The compliance and terms are becoming harsher because athletes are violating more than one anti-doping rule so when they know their sample has been found positive and the athlete has an issue of whereabouts failures, has an issue of tampering or evading that then adds to the harshness of the sanctions, “said the CEO.

“For a positive case, depending on the substance, an athlete can get up to four years and when you add whereabouts failure that is another two years adding to six years in total, and when an athlete has multiple positive samples then they get eight years and if it is not the first time to have violated anti-doping rules then they can get up to 10 years,” she explained Shibutse.

She added that they were doing their best to roll out a comprehensive education programme so that athletes can understand what their responsibilities are and what can lead them to having a harsh sanction and how they can avoid the same.

Shibutse urged athletes not to run away, and instead comply with what is required of them by attending the education programmes for them to understand what the anti-doping environment is all about.

On his part the ADAK Board Chairman Daniel Makdwallo noted that increasing tree cover in Kenya is important, and more so in a place where athletes train since this was a major area where they carry out activities like educating and testing these athletes.

“We hope that one day when the forest is fully grown, they will be able to appreciate that even though we seem to be putting them at the edge we are also concerned with their welfare and the environment they train in,” said Makdwallo.

He noted that ADAK has ramp up its programme in preparation for the Olympics games this coming year being in Category A, ranking the government is trying everything they can not to have any positive cases of doping in the international arena.

“The increased testing has helped in the sense that if we find positive cases it helps us to ensure they do not end up on the international scene,” he said.

“We want to continue to encourage our athletes to stay clean and run clean as it will help us celebrate when a win takes place and it will give us a good public relation internationally,” said the board chair.

He encouraged athletes and support personnel to understand that it does not do Kenya any good to be listed in Category A, level by world athletics as that will require the agency to conduct three tests before any competition for each athlete.

Makdwallo added that each test was very expensive as the laboratories where they take these tests are not in Kenya therefore the more athletes, they test the more the demand for more resources comes up.

Courtesy; KNA

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *