NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan sprinter Boniface Mweresa did not pass a doping test and was eliminated from the team for the African Championship starting in Asaba, Nigeria on Wednesday, a senior official of the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency (ADAK). has told Reuters.
The samples of Mweresa, who won silver in the 400m and gold in the 4x400m in the African Games 2015 in Brazzaville, were taken at the Kenya Defense Forces Championship from 6 to 8 in Nairobi and contained a banned substance said the official on Tuesday.
The delegation from Kenya traveled to Asaba on Monday without Mweresa, who was a member of the team at the 2013 and 2017 World Championships in Moscow and London respectively and at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Gold Coast.
Mweresa, 24, could not be contacted immediately by Reuters, but the athlete told the local media that he was innocent and that he had taken supplements that he had declared to ADAK.
"Declaring that he took supplements does not make him innocent if we find banned substances in his samples," the ADAK official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
Mweresa, who would have been a medal prospect at the African Championships in the city of Asaba, in Delta State, told local media he would challenge the decision at the Kenya Sports Court.
Senior officials of the country's governing body, Athletics Kenya, have traveled to Asaba for the African Championship and could not be reached for comment.
Kenya is known for its medium and long distance running skills, but athletes from the East African nation have suffered more than 50 failed doping tests in the past six years.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent global body that handles all matters related to doping, said this month that the Olympic champion of archery of Kenyan origin and world record Ruth Jebet, who runs for Bahrain is being investigated after returning a positive test for EPO blood booster.
The AIU also confirmed in May that Kenya's former 1,500-meter Olympic and three-time world champion, Asbel Kiprop, had failed a test for EPO. Kiprop has denied the misdeeds and his case will be heard in an AIU court to be held in London next month.
The governing body of world sport, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said on Friday that it had approved new rules detailing the obligations of its member federations in the fight against doping.
Athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine will be tested three times in the 10 months leading up to the World Championships and the Olympics. They are in category A that is described as having "member federations at higher risk of doping".
Previously, obligations under the anti-doping code focused mainly on individuals instead of member federations.
The AIU recommended the new regulations to the IAAF as a crucial step in protecting the integrity of the sport.