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Kenya warns action needed to avoid Olympic ban

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National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Dr Kipchoge Keino.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Dr Kipchoge Keino.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, March 22 – Kenya’s Olympic chief Kipchoge Keino warned Tuesday that time was running out to escape a threatened ban if action is not taken to ensure doping is stopped.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has given Kenya until April 5 to tighten its anti-doping law and provide the funding for the new Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

Keino said the lack of action so far had hampered preparations for the Rio Olympics.

“Time is running out. Unfortunately, up to now we have not sat down with the Ministry of Sports to give them our plan for the training of the team,” Keino told AFP.

But Keino said he was confident that the ADAK Anti-Doping Bill and Policy would be passed before it goes on recess on Friday for a two-week holiday.

“I have hope our parliamentary committee will do us proud to be able to pass the document and the Head of State to sign the bill into law,” he said, adding “we need to criminalise doping to protect our athletes.”

Over 72 athletes have already qualified for Rio, in addition to both men’s and women’s rugby teams, a boxer and one competitor in archery.

He said the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) needed to fundraise more cash to ensure all who can go to Rio.

“I am asking the parliamentarians to approve the document, and we will be able to move forward and start looking for funds,” he said.

“We also need to start preparations so that we can come back home with more medals than we did in Beijing. This cannot just happen overnight.”

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