The World Anti-Doping Agency declared itself “extremely troubled” by media reports alleging that Kenyan athletes were bribed in return for a reduction of their doping suspensions. “WADA is most disturbed by these reports regarding extortion and bribery at the national level of sport, eerily similar sounding to what we learnt through the recent Independent Commission investigation into widespread doping in International Athletics,” said WADA Director General, David Howman. “WADA will of course require more detailed information on these allegations from those concerned so that we can determine if this is a matter for us to investigate or for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Commission as part of its own inquiries,” added Howman. “The allegations we have heard this week also illustrate the importance of having a robust, independent National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) fully functional in Kenya at the earliest opportunity. This is a vital step for a country of Kenya’s sporting stature to take if it is to effectively protect clean athletes.”
The athletes, Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga, were both suspended for anti-doping rule violations for a period of four years on 27 November 2015. The Associated Press news report highlights the claims of the two athletes that they were each asked for – and refused – a 2.5 million Kenyan shillings bribe [approx. 24,000 US$] by an Athletics Kenya (AK) official in return for a reduction of their suspensions.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.