–Full doping control at the race
As many as four former winners of the Obudu international mountain race have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s race which holds at the Obudu Ranch Resortin Obudu,Cross River state.
Top on the list of the former champions who are staging a return is Ethiopia’s triple winners,Abebe Dinkesa who will be gunning for an historic fourth title at the race tagged Mountain Rcae for the Stars to celebrate the 10th year of hosting Africa’s first ever mountain race championships.
He won the men’s title and the accompanying $50,000 top prize in 2008,2010 and 2012.
Also staging a return to challenge for the top prize is the men’s defending champion,Kenya’s Philemon Rono who ran 1:00:43,the fastest time by any man at the race since the course changed from 11.25km to 13km to win last year.Rono will also be hoping to become the first man to successfully defend the men’s title at the championship.Dinkesa holds the former course record and the fastest winning time at 41.45 seconds which he ran in winning his first title in 2008.
Another man staging a return is Ethiopia’s Hunegnaw Mesfin who won the men’s title in 2011 with 41:50,the second fastest winning time of the old course.
Another Ethiopian,Genet Yalew is the only former winner making a return for th top prize and honour of being crowned Obudu mountain race queen.
Yalew will be aiming for a hat-trick of titles after winning in 2011 and 2013.She won her first title in a record setting fashion,shattering the 48:57 course record set by her compatriot,Meselech Melkamu a year earlier.She repeated as winners two years later on an expanded course with a new course record of 58:55.
Like Rono for men,Yalew will also be aiming to become the first woman in the history of the race to successfully defend the women’s title.
Meanwhile the vice-chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the race, Partrick Ugbe has revealed that full doping control will be carried out during the race.
Ugbe disclosed that provision has been made by the committee for a full doping control for the race which has become one of the most anticipated events in the calendar of the world mountain running association.
‘The LOC will cooperate with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) official in Nigeria who will customarily conduct the exercise.This is an annual ritual carried out at the race because of its status.The Obudu mountain race has the largest total prize-money available of any mountain race and is known as “the world’s richest mountain race”.So we have to conform with international practice that random,in-competition doping control must be carried out”, he said.
He further revealed that the tests that will be carried out will include the use of prohibited substances like all anabolic agents which includes but not limited to stanozolol,tetrahydrogestrinone,methandienone,testosterone and prostanozol as well as some growth hormones.
‘Apart from the prohibited substances,prohibited methods like blood doping including the use of autologous, homologous or heterologous blood or red blood cell products of any origin will also be tested’, he said.