EXPERT COMMENT:Drug use in Athletes need urgent address

Embu Athletic Kenya Chairman Mr. Matthew Njeru posing for a photo with one of the Embu athletes in Embu County. PHOTO/Mkarimu Media

By Mkarimu

“Drug use among young athletes is a challenge that requires a collective address among athletics stake holders” those were the words of Athletic Kenya Embu branch Chairman Mr. Matthew Njeru.

Mr Njeru was reacting on the bombshell news as Asbel Kiprop, a former 1500m Olympic champion was slapped with a four year ban with allegations that he tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

In an audio statement released online and obtained by Mkarimu Radio Njeru revealed that Kenya has qualified coaches who understand and known about their athletes better than foreign coaches hired my unscrupulous managers whose main goal is quick money.

He said the fact that kenyan athletes are attainable, adaptive and potential fall victims of abussive management and before realising the long term dangers related to use of drugs.

Parent were not spared either – according to Mr. Njeru, parents also carry a huge burden as some introduce drugs to their children thinking they will pay off without understanding their reflective disadvantages.

According to Njeru athletes from Embu and Meru counties where there is growing of ghat locally known as Miraa were the ones affected most.

In these Counties Miraa is grown largely and it is a cash crop among many residents in the region. IAAF listed miraa as banned substance.

Retaliating his earlier developmental goal of increasing number of coaches to the current list of coaches like Silvan Mwangile, simon Mbote and Bruce Lati based in Embu.

Mr Njeru also praised Kigali and Blue Valley training camps for producing world class athletes like William Wanjiku, Berlin champion, Daniel wanjiru former London marathon champion and Morris Munene.

Lamenting on the Athletes Agents lack of moral ethics and abuse, Mr Njeru said there is a need to separate coaching and Athletes management as some people take the chance hence introducing drugs to athletes.

He said some Athletes agents set bars to the athletes by introducing their business as well as introducing anabolic steroid to the athletes in order to recover their investment while leaving individuals with long term consequences.

He blamed the athletes who claim that they were not aware of whatever drugs they take.

“If you take coca cola, you know its taste and wherever it doesn’t taste as it, you know. So you have no excuse.,” he said adding, “There is much much needed to be done to get out children and upcoming athletes educated for the sake of their future life after sports.”

Mr Njeru Athletic Kenya Embu branch is working with the Embu county sports office to facilitate and educate local athletes on effects of drugs in their bodies.

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