Alex was reluctant to opt for doping from the very beginning. At first, the Kenyan marathoner was interested in competing clean, earning his living honestly and supporting his poor family.
However, later he stumbled on a bitter fact that he couldn’t be on a par with his rivals who made the most of doping and tried to cheat the anti-doping system.
As a result, Alex made up his mind to drastically increase his performance with the help of erythropoietin also known as EPO. The given substance is officially forbidden by the world doping watchdog. However, the regulation of this in Kenya leaves much to be desired.
Alex told that he had no choice but to utilize that forbidden stuff to earn his living. From his point of view, it was no possibility to take on sportsmen already employing EPO and expect to come up with decent outcomes.
As a matter of fact, Kenyans turn out to be well-known marathoners. For example, in the world’s top 100 runners for 2019, 38 sportsmen are Kenyans. However, Kenya’s anti-doping watchdog has struggled to eliminate drug use by athletes.
Iten is the place where Alex trains. That’s also the place, which inspires many Kenyan marathoners who would like to follow their idols from the Olympic podium as well as record books.
However, most of them fail to make the big league. Approximately, a thousand Kenyans earn their living by taking part in marathons worldwide. If they are understated in their country, there’s a certain likelihood they will gain success anywhere else.
Apparently, Kenyan runners don’t’ bring home the tens of thousands on offer at key competitions. Instead, they managed to gain several hundred, perhaps, the odd thousand, in third as well as second-tier marathons.
By the way, in 2016, Kenya had to pay more attention to its doping issue when a series of scandals sent the African country to the blacklist of the Olympic Games held in Rio.