Kenya Sevens head coach Paul Treu has waded into the doping war between Government and Kenya Rugby Football Federation, dismissing reports that he introduced the use of banned substances among the national team players.
Treu was reacting to reports by the Government-sponsored Anti-Doping Task Force that accused him and his staff of introducing supplements by the trade name ‘Evox’ that purportedly contained steroids upon laboratory analysis.
The South African tactician, who is currently on a break in Cape Town, released a statement through Glenda Neville calling those claims baseless since none of the players had tested positive for using banned substances.
He further denied introducing harmful nutritional additions saying he was actually responsible for introducing a ‘no-supplement policy’ when he took over the reigns in November last year.
“When I arrived, players were taking supplements. We decided, as we’d done in South Africa not to endorse or advocate taking supplements of any kind, preferring to focus on proper nutrition,” said Mr. Treu.
The Task Force, led by Professor Moni Wekesa, completed its initial report in April but it was formally handed to Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario last Friday.
Mr. Treu said there has been no transparency around the report, which he has not seen, questioning the credentials of the investigators who are not recognised by the International Rugby Board (IRB) as an anti-doping agency.
“We know the risk of supplements as we know how easily they can cause athletes to fail tests,” Mr. Treu said, adding: “During my time with South African rugby, we had a strict supplement policy, developed in conjunction with scientists and dieticians, specifically for this reason.”
“That’s why from the very beginning, when we came into the Kenyan Sevens set up, we tried to get rid of supplements. It was one of the first actions we took on arrival in Kenya. We wanted to substitute supplements with food and rather use only a certified product that was guaranteed not to be contaminated (FUTURELIFE). The use of supplements is definitely not part of our game plan,” said the former South Africa Sevens coach.
Ross Tucker the statement said; is a globally respected sports scientist and outspoken critic of doping. He has consulted and advised Mr. Treu on scientific and strategic matters since 2007.
“The supplement industry is not well enough controlled to have absolute faith in it. And besides, there’s little evidence that they really work, provided diet is optimised. The only responsible approach is to remove all supplements, and then specifically seek out certified supplements and food products, which is exactly what we did at the outset,” Dr. Tucker said.
Mr. Treu and Dr. Tucker however, believe there is an opportunity to educate sporting bodies, athletes and coaching staff in Kenya on supplements and the value of sports nutrition in preparing players physically.
“My strategic focus in training is to apply the South African approach where we condition players using the science of nutrition,” said Mr. Treu.