Are Kenyan Athletes Doped?
Posted by addisethiopia on May 24, 2012
Sports fans all over the world have recently witnessed an increasing number of spectacular doping cases, leading to considerable frustration in the public. However, our knowledge regarding the prevalence of doping is still quite limited, leading some people to speculate that (nearly) all professional athletes are doped and possibly even have to be doped to be good enough to compete successfully in highly selective tournaments.
How about East African athletes?
A well-known German sports journalist claims to have found evidence of widespread doping by traveling undercover to Kenya, posing as sports agent. According to him, doping is common in Kenya, among locals, but also among elite foreign athletes who travel there to train. One athlete mentioned by name is Pamela Jelimo, although he can only link her to a doctor who offered to perform blood doping, and cannot present at the moment a direct proof of her being doped.
Here is an interview with Hajo Seppelt on German public radio:
The full report ran on German state TV, ARD.
Related story: “Kenyans to be the Subject of Doping Research”
My Note: I don’t know whether there is some truth to the above claim – or it simply could be the usual European jealousy and disappointment in respect to their inferior status in long-distance running. Well, Europeans may either join East Africans in chewing the mysterious plant, “Khat”, or they have to prohibit it. In any case, it was very surprising for Kenyan athletes, specially the female ones to dominate and outperform Ethiopians during the last World Athletics Championships in South Korea.