Age cheating as serious as doping, says IAAF

Updated: August 10, 2006, 8:31 AM ET
Reuters

By Isa Amok

BAMBOUS, Mauritius, Aug 10 - Age cheating will be treated with the same seriousness as doping, the head of the world athletics governing body said on Thursday.

"We shall treat the matter with the same seriousness as doping," Lamine Diack, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) told reporters in Mauritius at the 15th African championships.

He was referring to recent cases of cheating by two Kenyans, Thomas Longorisiwa and Emmanuel Chamer, who obtained passports bearing fake ages with the intention of taking part in the World Junior Championships in Beijing from Aug. 15-20.

Longorisiwa was arrested and charged while Chamer was let off after owning up. Both athletes dropped out of the event.

Two other Kenyan-born athletes now representing Bahrain were also arrested in June and briefly held before being released.

They allegedly changed their ages to participate in last year's World Youth Championships in Morocco and junior races at the 2005 World Cross Country Championships in France.

"This is an eyesore for our sport. We are gathering further information and we shall certainly make a decision to suspend the culprits after exhausting the process," Diack said.

"We need the full support of the government and the Kenyan federation to curb this cheating. We will investigate the athletes' managers and the Kenyan federation officials to get to the bottom of this," he added.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index