Wilson Kipsang fears the reputation of Kenyan runners and athletics generally will be hit by fresh doping claims in the media, including allegations former Olympic medal winners had suspect blood readings.
The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR said they were given access to the results of more than 12,000 blood tests showing more than 800 athletes had given blood samples that were "highly suggestive" of doping or "abnormal". Of the 800, reports suggest 77 were Kenyan athletes.
On 4 August, the world governing body for athletics (IAAF) issued a statement in which it strongly denied the allegations. Meanwhile, Kipsang – the former marathon world record holder – said the claims of widespread systematic doping among Kenyan runners would not scare them ahead of the world championships in Beijing later this month.
"Those are just allegations. And for a country like Kenya, which has been participating very well in world championships, Olympics, you find that that one will not really scare athletes so much," Kipsang said.
"And I think we shall continue preparing very well and focus for the world championships because if you try to see, it looks like they are people who are trying to damage the whole sport. Because when somebody says that Kenyan athletes are using doping, who in particular? So, I think for somebody like me, I want to say that we want to be very strict on people who are just coming up with lots of allegations without substantial facts."
Dark times for Kenya
Kenya boasts some of the world's best middle- and long-distance runners but dozens of its athletes have failed drug tests over the past few years, casting a shadow over the success of Kenyan athletics. In February, Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, was banned for two years after a failed test in the biggest doping scandal to hit Kenya in recent years.
David Rudisha, the 800m Olympic champion and Kenya's best known runner, in December said that Athletics Kenya (AK) should have done more to root out drugs cheats as persistent doping claims risk tarnishing reputations of clean Kenyan runners. Kipsang concurs with Rudisha that much needs to be done by Athletics Kenya to educate athletes.
"The doping issue is something very big and when you try to see Athletics Kenya I think they are not doing much when it comes to creating awareness and making sure that control measures is really done, because you find many of the athletes are not fully aware of what these drugs are or how to avoid, so I think much needs to be done," he said.
AK says it has been fighting hard to combat doping and was working closely with IAAF, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Kenyan government to counter the scourge.
"For the top athletes who have been running and their tests have been carried out and are found to be clean, I want to tell them that trust our performances because we have been running lots of races," Kipsang added.
The Kenyan sports body only issued a statement and said it had been educating athletes about the dangers posed by doping and was about to conclude an investigation, assisted by police, into the sale, distribution and use of banned substances.