Sportsmen in Kenya are still largely ignorant about banned substances and may be using steroids innocently, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) has said.
Leisurely activities such as chewing miraa could be getting in the way of their careers, CEO Japhter Rugut said on Monday.
“Some of these substances are in the herbal things that we take such as medicine and even in miraa,” said Rugut.
He spoke in Mombasa during a sensitisation workshop for Bandari FC players at Mombasa Beach Hotel.
Rugut further said that sportsmen should quickly seek advice on the medicine they take because some of it could contain banned substances.
He said some of the over-the-counter drugs that people buy from could also be contaminated.
“This is a fairly new matter … many don’t know about banned substances,” said Rugut.
But the chief executive noted major milestones in Kenya’s efforts to ensure sportspeople stay clean.
Kenya is a pioneer in the region in the establishment of an anti-doping agency and has been assisting neighbouring nations such as Tanzania and Uganda in carrying out tests.
Only South Africa and Egypt have established such agencies while Ethiopia is in the process of setting up one.
Bandari FC became the 17th football club in the country to undergo sensitisation. It is one of the 18 teams that participate in the Kenya Premier League.
Only defending champions Gor Mahia have not had such a programme.
Bandari Team Manager Wislon Oburu said the workshop has been an eye opener for most of the players.
“We appreciate this engagement because players fall victim due to lack of awareness,” said Oburu.
Adak got a boost on Sunday as more sports federations signed an agreement on collectively fighting the menace.