Faith Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic champion, has encouraged Kenyan athletes to compete without resorting to doping in order to preserve the nation’s reputation. Kenya has remained on the top tier of the World Anti-Doping Association’s (WADA) compliance watch list since February 2016. Despite a recent increase in doping cases, Kenya managed to avoid an international ban earlier this year. Kipyegon expressed that this situation will continue to cast doubt on Kenya’s sporting excellence until the issue is completely eliminated.
She emphasized the need for athletes to undergo frequent random tests to erase suspicions of foul play when breaking records. Kipyegon urged all athletes in the country to stay clear of trouble and safeguard the nation’s image for a better future. Kipyegon herself achieved a remarkable feat, breaking the 1,500m world record in Florence on June 2 with a new time of 3:49.11 seconds, and then shattering the 5,000m world record on June 9 at the Paris Diamond League in France with a new time of 14:05.20. During this period, she had to undergo multiple doping tests.
She also emphasized the importance of athletes being cautious about what they ingest, as there could be individuals with malicious intentions seeking to harm their careers. Kipyegon expressed gratitude to the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) for their efforts in combating doping in the country. She commended ADAK and the Athletic Integrity Unity for their commitment to tackling the doping issue and expressed hope that this effort would continue for the benefit of Kenya and the sport.
Faith Kipyegon is one of the 11 nominees for the 2023 World Female Athlete of the Year award and is considered the favorite to win, thanks to her exceptional, record-breaking year.