Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno was on Saturday barred from competing in the 100m men’s heat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This is after he allegedly tested positive for a banned substance, prompting Team Kenya and the organizers to withdraw him from the race start list.
But in a statement, Otieno defended himself against doping allegations, insisting that he would never do anything that would jeopardize his career.
“We have appealed the result and decision and requested for further tests. As we honor the due process undergoing, I want to categorically state and be on record that I have never been involved in doping of any kind. My integrity as an athlete and an individual is paramount to me, and I hold in great honor the opportunity I have been given to represent my country on this global stage, as I have done many times in the past,” Otieno said in a statement posted on his Twitter handle.
He added: “As such, I would never engage in any activity that would jeopardize me or my teammates.”
Otieno further stated that representing Kenya at the Olympics is a dream he had for many years and was devastated by the setback. “I remain hopeful of clearing my name and continuing my athletics journey,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Otieno’s fellow sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala sailed to the semis after clocking 10.01 seconds, a national record. Kenya has so far not won any medal in Tokyo.