Reigning World 800m champion David Rudisha has finally addressed the doping controversy that has engulfed Kenya Athletics in recent times.
The East African country already faces the risk of being banned from the Rio Olympics for failing to demonstrate to the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) that it had put measures in place to address the lingering crisis.
Rudisha who spoke to reporters in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, blamed young athletes for the surge in the doping crisis, which has seen over 40 athletes being suspended in the last three years including three-time Boston Marathon winner, Rita Jeptoo.
“It’s really sad; it’s really unfortunate that this is happening because Kenya previously has a really good reputation. And for many years Kenya has been doing well on the athletics stage, winning championships without this problem.
“A few years ago this problem has been coming. But it’s really tough. Because these young athletes who are desperate to make money, to win races, they end up being fools and getting into these drugs”, he said to The Guardian.
Rudisha also cited a lack of adequate infrastructure as one of the main reasons for the crisis, and hopes that Kenya can put things in place ahead of the Olympics:
“We lack a lot of infrastructure, like we don’t even have a lab in Kenya and you find that it’s very difficult for the anti-doping agency to control this situation”, he said.
“We hope that things are in place. We are optimistic that these things are going to be wiped out completely so that our sport will be clean and athletes can compete fairly. So we can all celebrate that everybody who has worked hard deserves what he gets.”
The Olympic champion, who is keen on retaining his title from four years ago, will open his season at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday. He is aware of the daunting task ahead and doubts a repeat of his London 2012 feat where he won GOLD with a World Record (WR).
“It’s tough; we can’t be seeing a WR every day; it’s something special. I broke it in 2010 and 2012, so you can see it’s tough. I’m looking forward to trying, but getting a time close to the record would make me happy. But it will be tough to beat it. We’ll see how the year goes.”