, NAIROBI, April 21 – The much awaited Anti-Doping Bill will be signed into law on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.
When signed, the law which seeks to criminalize sports doping will come into full effect meaning Kenya will have met all World Anti Doping Agency conditions and will be declared compliant, thus lifting off the threat of being banished from the August Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
President Kenyatta announced this on Thursday evening as he hosted the triumphant Kenya Sevens team which paid him a courtesy call at State House after clinching the Singapore Sevens Main Cup title last weekend.
“I am happy to announce that I will sign the Anti-Doping Bill tomorrow and nobody has a reason to say Kenya shall not participate in the Olympics. We shall be at the Olympics and I am certain from these lads to the all athletes who will be out there will make this country proud. I am certain of it and I am convinced of it,” a confident President Kenyatta announced.
The Bill was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday and was transmitted to the Senate which on Thursday afternoon gave the thumbs up for the Bill to proceed to the final step of presidential assent.
President Kenyatta says his government and all the federation chiefs have a duty to ensure they do their part as the athletes are hard at work ensuring they do their work as well.
“What remains is us as a government and federation officials to put their best foot forward and ensure we support our team and ensure we do it to the fullest and that is what we want to see. They are doing their part; it is for us to do our part in their support and I am sure they will do us proud,” President Kenyatta added.
Kenya had twice missed the WADA deadline on criminalizing doping and were given a new May 2 deadline to fully comply or risk being declared non-compliant.
If Kenya was declared non-compliant by WADA, then an Olympic ban was looming.
The news will come as a huge relief to athletes and other teams preparing for the Olympics including the Rugby Sevens who will be playing the Olympics for the first time.
Kenyan top athletes Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge were bombarded with questions on doping in the pre-event press conference of the Virgin London Marathon and they insisted that most Kenyan athletes are clean and are in the sport because of their passion.