Misunderstood: Ex-Gor Mahia midfielder opens up on doping ordeal that got him four-year ban

Misunderstood: Ex-Gor Mahia midfielder opens up on doping ordeal that got him four-year ban

Mark Kinyanjui 06:00 - 05.06.2024

Former Gor Mahia and Kenya U-23 midfielder Teddy Osok has opened up on his misunderstood doping ordeal that ended up seeing him suspended four four years.

The world of sports is often a realm of triumph, where athletes strive for excellence and glory. Yet, amidst the cheers and victories, there are tales of hardship and adversity that remain untold. 

Teddy Osok, a former Gor Mahia and Kenya youth midfielder, found himself thrust into the spotlight not for his skills on the pitch, but for a doping ordeal that shook the foundation of his career.

Osok's journey took an unexpected turn when he was slapped with a four-year ban by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) while playing for Tusker. 

The suspension, which began on March 21, 2022, was the result of Boldenone and its metabolites found in his system, a revelation that sent shockwaves through the football community.

In an official report from the Sports Disputes Tribunal and signed by chairperson Elynah Sifuna-Shiveka Osok's side of the story was deemed "plausible," yet the committee concluded that he had failed to declare medication and intentionally enhanced his performance. 

“We therefore find that the Respondent has not discharged his burden of proof to dispel the assertions that he never intended to enhance his sport performance. We find to our comfortable satisfaction that there was intention on the part of the Athlete to cheat,” the statement read in part.

However, in an exclusive interview with The Buzz Kenya, Osok shared his version of events, shedding light on the circumstances surrounding his doping ordeal.

"The biggest challenge is this doping ordeal that I went through. People assume you take drugs when they hear that you were found guilty of doping," Osok revealed, highlighting the stigma and misconceptions that accompany such allegations.

The incident occurred during a match against Nzoia Sugar, where Osok suffered a knee injury early in the game. Despite efforts from the team doctor to alleviate the pain with injections and medication, Osok's condition worsened. 

"In the fifth minute, I suffered an injury to my knee, and I could not continue, and I could not even walk," he recalled.

Osok detailed the treatment he received on the pitch and afterwards, including additional injections and medication prescribed by the team doctor. 

Despite trusting the doctor's expertise, Osok found himself blindsided when ADAK notified him of the presence of Boldenone in his system.

Confusion and disbelief engulfed Osok as he sought answers from mentors and medical professionals. He questioned the validity of the findings, citing contradictions and inconsistencies in the documentation. 

"The doctor insisted he did not administer it to me," Osok recounted, highlighting the lack of clarity surrounding the situation.

As the legal proceedings unfolded, Osok faced an uphill battle to clear his name and salvage his career. Despite his efforts, the fallout from the doping scandal extended beyond the confines of the football field, impacting his personal and professional life.

“He wrote his own things and then rubber-stamped. Before long, 21 days were over, and I was summoned to court. I found myself disoriented, and my parents ended up in tears, thinking I had doped myself.

“I ended up being given a lawyer by ADAK who had taken me to court. Do you think I would have won?” Osok rhetorically asked.

"A new management took charge of the club and they informed me they would be releasing me," Osok revealed, reflecting on the lack of support he received from his former club amidst the turmoil.

“They have never even posted on their social media pages they released me.”

“I even approached FKF CEO Barry (Otieno) to offer me a lawyer, and he did. I had served as U-23 captain of the national team, and they did give me one. The lawyer needed me to go to him with 2000 shillings every day. 

“At some point, it took a toll on me because I could not afford it every day because I have a family relying on me. Eventually, my lawyer ended up withdrawing from my case. It got to a point where all parties just called it quits, and I decided they made their final decision.”

Osok has admitted to losing his love for football because he could not find the mental fortitude to attend football games later, and it is until recently he started attending games again.

“I have never spoken to him again, but we still meet on the ground and wave to each other.”

As Osok navigates the aftermath of his doping ordeal, he remains determined to reclaim his place on the pitch and restore his reputation. 

His story serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities and consequences of doping in sports, and the need for transparency and accountability in the pursuit of athletic excellence.

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