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    NAIROBI, Jan 5 (Reuters) – World Athletics President Sebastian Coe on Thursday praised Kenya’s commitment to addressing doping after several positive tests for banned substances.<br> The middle and long-distance running powerhouse avoided a ban in November despite an increasing number of its athletes being suspended for positive tests.<br> Kenya’s government said at the time it would supply $5 million a year over the next five years to aid anti-doping efforts, including more tests, investigations and education.<br> During a visit to Kenya, Coe contrasted the approach of the country’s sports authorities with that in Russia, which he said involved state-supervised cover-ups.<br> “There is no suggestion that that is the case in Kenya; in fact, quite the reverse,” Coe said during a news conference alongside Kenya’s sports minister.<br> “The fact that all these (Kenyan) agencies are in alignment and prepared to work alongside World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is a very, very important statement,” he said, while cautioning that Kenya faced a “long journey” to root out doping.<br> Russia has acknowledged some shortcomings in its implementation of anti-doping rules, but denies running a state-sponsored doping programme.<br> Kenya has faced accusations of widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs for years.

    In 2016, it put in place an anti-doping law with stiffer penalties in order to avoid a ban from the Rio Olympics.<br> But there has been a recent spate of high-profile cases. In December, Kenya’s Diana Kipyokei was disqualified as the 2021 Boston Marathon women’s winner after being handed a six-year ban for using the prohibited substance triamcinolone acetonide.<br> In the same month, another Kenyan, 2017 Paris Marathon winner Purity Rionoripo, was banned for five years after testing positive for the banned diuretic furosemide.<br> As of November, 55 Kenyan athletes were banned and eight provisionally suspended, according to the AIU, an independent body established by World Athletics to combat doping.<br> Coe also met with Kenyan President William Ruto during his visit.<br> “Kenya will not spare any efforts in the fight against doping,” Ruto said on Twitter after the meeting.

    (Reporting by Jefferson Kahinju; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Aaron Ross and slot gacor hari ini Toby Davis)<br>

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