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A multi-agency team comprising Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (Adak), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya has made significant steps in the war against doping.

This is after the team arrested individuals operating two pharmacies in Iten and Kapsabet suspected to involved in administering performance-enhancing drugs to athletes during a crackdown on Friday.

Drama ensued at Kerich pharmacy in Iten, the famed ‘Home of Champions’ after the team of officers caught a pharmacy attendant administering a suspected banned substance to an athlete.

The pharmacist, who was arrested was administering prohibited substances to an athlete through intravenous infusion.

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The multi-agency enforcement team consisting of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (Keiyo North), Adak Compliance Officer and Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya acted on intelligence to raid the chemist located in Iten town.

According to the agency, the suspect was arrested and booked at Iten Police Station for the offence of unlawfully administering prohibited substances to an athlete c/sec 42(4)(b) of the Anti-Doping Act and will undergo further interrogation.

The team collected samples of blood and urine from the athlete which were also documented.

The athlete was asked to record a statement and will face rule violation as per Sec 42(6) of the Anti-Doping Act while the pharmacy was closed by Pharmacy and Poison Board as per their Act.

Kapsabet Riverview pharmacy located in Kapsabet, Nandi county has been closed down due to administering performance enhancing drugs to athletes.

In a separate incident in Kapsabet, acting on intelligence, the agency raided Kapsabet Riverview Pharmacy which is involved in unlawful practices such as storage and administering prohibited substances with the intention of doping.

After a search was conducted by the multi-agency, it was discovered that the three suspects were operating a clinic without a license, without medical records and illegally used Nandi county government letterheads and other documents.

The three were later released on a Sh20,000 cash bail as investigations continue with the agency tasked with verifying the documents, licenses and certificates.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba lauded the multi-agency team reiterating that government will not relent on the war on doping.

“The proud heritage is at risk because of a few unscrupulous people who sell drugs to unsuspecting athletes and this has put Kenya under a global spotlight. This practice is unacceptable and has to stop,” said Namwamba.

He added that the recent arrests were as a result of a plan by government to deploy a multi-agency team to curb doping.

“I’m glad that it’s bearing fruit and this should not be a one-off thing. All the culprits should be arrested. This is an Olympic year and we want to make it a successful one. We want to make it clean and all athletes should run and win clean,” added Namwamba.

Adak CEO Sarah Shibutse, said they are determined to promote clean sports in collaboration with Athletics Kenya and Ministry of Sports.

“We are happy when we get such leads from athletes, supporting personnel and the community because it helps us to target a certain area when doing our investigations. When we work together as a multi-agency team, we are able to do a lot,” said Shibutse.

She added that the recent arrests is just the beginning and warned the medical fraternity including doctors and medical officers not to administer performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.

“The drugs have side effects and that is why you will hear of an athlete who has just dropped dead. The public and the community should come out and give us information. We shall always do our independent investigations and follow the law in executing our work,” she added.

Athletics Kenya Youth Development Director Barnaba Korir said that the approach that has been used lately has borne fruits and there will be no shortcut in the coming days because the system is getting tighter.

“We have always asked athletes to compete clean and avoid visiting unscrupulous pharmacists to enhance their performance. Practice clean sport and fair play because the law will catch up with you,” Korir told Nation Sport.

—NMG

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