— Published 5 April 2023

Kenyan women scuttle

Doping on a massive scale in Kenyan athletics? The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) believes so more and more after a team of three experts discovered similarities in the explanations and evidence of two athletes recently convicted of doping and heavily sanctioned. Eglay Nalyanya (pictured above), an 800m specialist, was suspended for eight years for using a banned substance. Betty Wilson Lempus, a marathon runner, received a five-year suspension for the same offense. “We found similarities in the explanations and evidence, says the IAU. Nalyanya and Lempus told the IAU that they had received intramuscular injections at the same hospital and provided falsified medical documentation to support their claims. In both cases, the investigation also found that the doctors named were fictitious and that neither athlete had received an injection even though they were in the hospital that day. It would appear that Kenya’s elite athletes are being helped by one or more people, including someone with significant medical knowledge. This is not limited to one case.” For David Howman, the president of IAU, there is now no doubt that doping in Kenya is becoming increasingly organized and involves a network of professionals with strong medical knowledge. “It is a serious threat to our sport, he insists. IAU has been mandated to work with the Kenyan government, its athletics federation and its anti-doping agency to combat this crisis. We will do everything we can to identify the source of this doping.