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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Olympic 800 meters champion David Rudisha has urged Kenya's athletics chiefs to root out doping cheats as swiftly as possible or risk damaging the country's reputation for churning out running greats.
Kenya has begun to acknowledge a drugs problem that has cast a shadow over one of the most successful running nations at a time athletics is reeling from high profile doping scandals.
"It is bad. The faster they tackle the matter the better for our country's image," Rudisha told reporters on Wednesday.
Rudisha's comments came a day after the World Anti-Dopng Agency (WADA) president, John Fahey, criticized Kenyan sports authorities for not setting up a body to investigate reports of widespread doping in training camps.
"Not all of us are cheats, some may have been (mis)led into abusing drugs," world record-holder Rudisha said, urging young athletes to be patient and not look for shortcuts.
German broadcaster ARD reported before the London 2012 Olympics there was systematic doping in training camps across Kenya's Rift Valley Province, the cradle of long-distance excellence, an allegation Athletics Kenya (AK) denied.
Editing by Richard Lough and Alison Wildey