NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s athletics great Kipchoge Keino says the IAAF should act more quickly on doping cases as the sport’s governing body begins disciplinary action against 28 athletes who took part in the 2005 and 2007 world championships.
With the world championships nine days away in Beijing, track and field is gripped by another doping saga after the International Association of Athletics Federations on Tuesday said 32 adverse doping cases had come to light after the re-analysis of samples from nearly a decade ago.
The re-testing took advantage of new technology and the 10-year period now offered under IAAF rules and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
None of the 28, the majority of whom are retired according to the IAAF, were named.
“Why should WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and IAAF sanction athletes for doping issues taken in 2005 and 2007 now?,” Keino, Kenya National Olympic Committee president and winner of Olympic gold in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, said.
“Surely, can’t a way be found where decisions are taken immediately after tests are done as was the case with (Canadian) Ben Johnson in 1988 (Olympics)?” Keino, also an honorary member of International Olympic Committee (IOC), added.
Kenya boasts some of the world’s best middle and long distance runners but over the past few years claims of widespread doping have surfaced.
Data from thousands of blood tests performed between 2001-12 came to the attention of the Sunday Times newspaper and German broadcaster ARD this month, leading to accusations that the IAAF had failed to act on hundreds of suspicious results, many involving Olympic medallists.
Athletics Kenya has dismissed the latest allegations as a smear campaign.
Writing by George Obulutsa; editing by Martyn Herman