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Ruto urges sportsmen and women to refrain from destructive activities

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Kenya’s President William Ruto has urged athletes to steer clear of activities that could jeopardize their talents. He expressed regret that the use of drugs among some athletes has not only tarnished the country’s reputation but also derailed their careers. Speaking at the funeral service of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum in Chepkorio grounds, Elgeyo Marakwet County, President Ruto emphasized the government’s commitment to combat doping in sports.

He called on sportsmen and women to protect their profession by avoiding the use of drugs. President Ruto highlighted the measures Kenya has implemented to prevent doping-related bans by international athletics bodies, noting that the country had been blacklisted for doping before his administration took office in 2022.

President Ruto announced a Sh3.5 billion allocation over the next five years to address doping-related issues. He also mentioned the establishment of an Endowment Fund and Pension Fund for the welfare of retired athletes. Additionally, he directed the Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, to adjust the reward system for athletes to meet their future needs.

The President revealed plans to build Chepkorio Stadium in honor of the late Kiptum and mentioned the ongoing tendering process for the construction of Kamariny Stadium in Iten town. He encouraged Kenyan athletes to prepare diligently for the Paris Summer Olympics to win medals in memory of Kiptum and Kenya.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua announced his intention to join the athletes in Paris to boost their morale. Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi urged Kenyans to support President Ruto’s efforts to revive the country’s economy. Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen pledged to construct murram roads for athletes’ training.

Several leaders, including Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei and Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, expressed their support for initiatives to improve the welfare of athletes. Governors Wisely Rotich, Chelilim Bii, Simon Kachapin, and Stephen Sang also endorsed efforts to provide athletes with investment opportunities.

The funeral service was attended by numerous MPs, MCAs, and clergy, highlighting the widespread support for initiatives to benefit athletes and honor the late Kelvin Kiptum.

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April 2024
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