Kenya’s Mary Ngugi says athletes who dope are “greedy” and need to realise that “money isn’t everything”. The long distance specialist, who finished ninth in Monday’s Boston Marathon, has suffered emotionally and financially as a result of an athlete using drugs.
This year’s race – which marked 10 years since a terrorist attack claimed the lives of three spectators and injured hundreds more – saw winners of the men’s and women’s events rewarded with prize money of $150,000. But the drop-off after that was relatively steep, with the runner-up earning $75,000, third place $40,000 and $25,000 for fourth.
So perhaps it is no surprise that Ngugi believes the events of 2021 also cost her financially. Kenyan athletics is currently fighting an ongoing battle to restore its damaged reputation when it comes to doping. Last year, the country narrowly avoided a ban from international competition. Ngugi believes greed and a desire for quick results is driving the problem
Kenya still dominated this year’s Boston Marathon, with Evans Chebet defending his title in a men’s race where half of the top ten hailed from the East African nation, including Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge who was running the race for the first time. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri also claimed the women’s crown.
With athletics forming a crucial part of Kenya’s image both at home and abroad, Ngugi believes drug cheats should think more carefully about their actions.