Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie has called upon athletes to shun doping and compete on a clean slate.
Gebrselassie, who is also the president of Ethiopian Athletics Federation, said that there was no short cut to glory adding that people must work hard for their success.
“Athletes should sweat for success. Kenya and Ethiopia must fight doping because they are the leading countries in the world in long distance running from 5,000m to the marathon,” the retired track great remarked during a gala event to reward Kenya’s most outstanding sports personalities on Thursday night.
Kenya, which has had 43 doping cases confirmed in the last three years, won all the medals on offer to retain the overall title. The team is expected in Nairobi later on Tuesday.
The Sport Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) are annual national awards given for sports personalities in Kenya and were initiated by former world marathon record holder, Paul Tergat, in 2004.
Tergat said the occasion is the finest moment in the sporting calendar in Kenya because it rewards success.
“The year 2016 was a most challenge period with ups and downs, but today we are gathered here in a celebratory mood to pay tribute to gallant sportsmen and women,” Tergat told the audience.
“During our time, Gebrselassie and I competed fairly when there were no underhand dealings and when sport was sport,” the SOYA founder remarked.
During the occasion Olympic 5,000m champion and 10,000m silver medalist, Vivian Cheruiyot was crowned the most outstanding Kenyan sports personality of 2016.
Cheruiyot took the opportunity to announce her entry into road racing and sounded a warning shot to Ethiopian runners, adding that her debut race will be the London Marathon in April.
“Haile, go and announce to your runners that there is a new kid on the block and they should watch out,” she joked. Enditem