British anti-doping agency investigates Kenyan claims

Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:51pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's anti-doping agency has opened an investigation into newspaper allegations that doctors in Kenya supplied prohibited performance enhancing drugs to British athletes.

Undercover footage taken by the Sunday Times showed two Kenyan doctors and an associate claiming that they had given British athletes EPO, a banned blood-boosting drug.

"UK Anti-Doping has reviewed the evidence presented to us by The Sunday Times and it is of grave concern and of significant interest," UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said in a statement.

"We have opened an investigation and are taking the necessary steps to corroborate the evidence and investigate it further."

The investigation by the Sunday Times, conducted with German broadcaster ARD/WRD, said three men had been arrested by Kenyan authorities last week, having reviewed the film footage.

The newspaper said the two doctors claimed to have given a British athlete a series of EPO injections in preparation for a major race. An associate of the doctors said three other Britons were among about 50 athletes he had supplied with prohibited substances.

Some British athletes use Kenya as a base for training, with its high altitude and warm weather providing better conditions for them to prepare in.

However, UKAD's Sapstead warned that some countries where British athletes train might not have "the necessary anti-doping systems in place", and encouraged every sport to identify any risks related to the location of training regimes.