Kip Keino is a long forgotten name in America. Keino, who is from Kenya, is the owner of two gold and two silver Olympic medals from the 1968 and 1972 Summer games in running events. Today Keino is the President of the Kenyan Olympic committee and is pushing Kenya’s government to put athletes who use illegal controlled substances in jail.
I’m Evan Weiner with The Politics of Sports Business.
Keino is now joining German politicians in an attempt to have athletes who have been tested positive for doping locked up as a deterrent. It is an idea that is not going over too well with the publicly financed World Anti-Doping Agency as the group would rather punish athletes getting caught doping with a four year suspension from international competition than a jail term. WADA is neither a nation nor a law enforcement entity it is just a sports organization.
Kenya has a doping problem, 26 athletes were caught last year in testing using illegal substances. One of those athletes was Rita Jeptoo who won the Boston and Chicago Marathons. Keino is also suggesting jail time for coaches and agents or managers who act as enablers.
Kenya would join Italy in making doping a criminal offense with Germany thinking of doing the same thing. In 2006, the International Olympic Committee President Dr. Jacques Rogge begged Italian officials not to enforce drug laws at the Torino Olympic village claiming that the IOC could take care of things. Sports is afraid of criminalizing athletes who are caught doping. Very few American athletes have gone to jail because of doping. An exception was Marion Jones who lied to federal investigators in connection with the BALCO case which also involved Barry Bonds. Jones ended up in jail. Jones admitted she used steroids in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics eventually. The United States has not pushed to arrest athletes accused of doping. It may be time that some American steps up like Kip Keino in Kenya and pushes elected officials to really clean up sports with the threat of jail if caught doping.
This article was republished with permission from the original author, Evan Weiner.