Bhang use lands Kenyan rugby and basketball stars in doping trouble

Kenya Simbas star Brian Wahinya during a past match. Photo: Uganda Rugby

Bhang use lands Kenyan rugby and basketball stars in doping trouble

Joel Omotto 15:00 - 05.06.2024

Five local rugby and basketball players face a suspension of up to two years after testing positive for Cannabinoids, a banned substance found in Cannabis sativa.

Rugby players Brian Wahinya, Charlton Mokua and Zeden Lutomia as well as basketballers Alex Ramazani and Albert Onyango face a doping ban of up to two years over bhang use.

The five were among 33 Kenyan sportsmen and women who were provisionally suspended by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) on Tuesday for various doping offences.

While the most of those cited are track and field stars, the five were among athletes from other disciplines such as football, basketball and rugby who were also suspended.

The five players had Cannabinoids in their sample, a banned substance found in Cannabis sativa.

However, the players could end up getting their bans reduced from the maximum two years to even one month if they argue their cases well.

Unlike other substances, Cannabinoids is only prohibited during competition and proof that it was used out of competition could see their punishment reduced significantly.

“If they consumed Cannabis sativa just before the matches, that is a straight two-year ban. However, if they took it out of competition, and can prove that they didn’t use it for performance enhancement then they will get three months,” ADAK legal officer Bildad Rogoncho told Nation.

“If they prove guilty and accept to go for rehabilitation, then they will get a one-month ban.”

That could be a major lifeline for KCB star Wahinya, a former Kenya Simbas and Sevens star as Mokua and Lutomia who turn up for Kenya Harlequin. The same would be the fate for Ramazani and Onyango, who play for Kenya Basketball Federation side Nairobi City Thunder.

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