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24.09.2019 Kenya

IAAF chief Coe confirms knowledge of German media's Kenya doping claims

By AFP
Sebastian Coe was elected IAAF president in 2015.  By STRINGER (AFP)
SEP 24, 2019 KENYA
Sebastian Coe was elected IAAF president in 2015. By STRINGER (AFP)

IAAF president Sebastian Coe confirmed on Monday reports in German media which said the governing body's integrity unity had received claims of doping against Kenyan athletes ahead of the World Championships.

Television channel ZDF alleged at least two athletes had taken performance enhancing erythropoietin (EPO), which boosts the capacity of blood to carry oxygen, before the meeting begins on September 27 in Doha.

"I know the AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit) is following up on some accusations that have been made in the German media. I'm sure they (AIU) will report back as soon as they've established the facts to the IAAF," Coe said.

ZDF published secret film footage of a man and a woman in the process of receiving EPO via an injection.

An anonymous doctor admitted to treating eight runners in the documentary, adding that "no-one dopes directly before competitions, here they're using EPO while training."

Athletics Kenya (AK) reacted later on Monday by saying that the allegations lack substance to prove its credibility.

"In the absence of any evidence or further information AK cannot therefore deny or confirm the credibility or otherwise of the allegations made and circulated in the media," AK said on Twitter.

"Despite the good work which has been done by ADAK, WADA, AIU and AK, we are aware that in the past, there have been extremely malicious & unfounded allegations against the Athletics fraternity in Kenya whose intentions have been to belittle the vicious war against the doping."

According to ZDF there are cases of corruption between AK and the country's Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

A former ADAK employee said "they hide results from certain athletes, so that the runners can't get suspended."

"AK and ADAK work hand in hand and win money with it. Athletes or their manages must pay for that," they added.

The German television channel claims to have documents which prove collaboration between the two bodies.

Brett Clothier, the head of the AIU, responded by saying: "These are serious accusations and we're not so naive to say that these problems or corruption don't exist in Kenya."

Earlier in the day the IAAF maintained a ban on the Russian athletics federation pending analysis of data provided by Moscow's anti-doping laboratory in January.

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