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Kenya's Kiprop supports IAAF four-year doping ban

NAIROBI, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop has pledged to support the new order by athletics governing body IAAF to enforce a four-year ban for drug cheats starting in 2015.

"I have no problem with it. I win clean and this vice need to be cleaned from our sport. Athletes must work hard and I believe when they have longer periods out, they will miss a lot and also learn their lesson," said Kiprop on Tuesday.

With the Moscow World Championships having been rocked by top name withdrawals, not because of their form or injury, but after being caught cheating, IAAF is pushing for harsher punishment to ensure athletes caught doping miss four-year Olympic cycle.

IAAF will adhere to a new WADA code and happily revert to four-year bans for drugs offenders from 2015 as part of its "unwavering commitment against doping".

Kiprop, himself a causality of the dope controversy, when he who was denied the chance to recite his national anthem by Moroccan-Bahraini Rashid Ramzi in Beijing Olympics, said sitting out four years will reduce the prevalence of dope fraudsters.

Ramzi came from nowhere to be crowned Olympic 1500m champion with suspicious speed. But it did not take long before he tested positive. Kiprop, who was second in Beijing Olympics, then had his silver medal elevated to a gold medal.

"Athletes put in a lot during their training. To be denied that chance to win by a cheat is not acceptable. Everyone has to work hard," said Kiprop.

Athletics has recently been rocked by a string of doping cases, ranging from high-profile athletes like Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown both of Jamaica to tens of Russians and Turkey athletes failing doping tests, among others.

Current sanction for a first-time doping offender is two years, meaning that the athlete would not miss the four-year Olympic cycle. That will however change in 2015.

Kiprop wants that implemented immediately to root out the cheats.

But for now, he lamented on the protracted wrangles in the Athletics Kenya, where President Isaiah Kiplagat's 21-year reign is in question.

Kiprop said, though the wrangles are not affecting the athletes training and competitions abroad, it is a sign that all in not well in the federation and must be addressed soon.

Kiplagat is under pressure to call for a Special General Meeting to discuss among other issues the federation constitution, which his opponents say it is in his favour, giving him enormous powers.

The athlete said, the officials should focus on preparation of teams and not bickering ahead of next year's Commonwealth games.

"They need to work on preparing Kenya team. For me, I take a break from the sport to relax and enjoy my holiday. I have to plan on my next season with the Commonwealth games in Scotland, my priority," he added.

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