NAIROBI, April 11– President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured that the Anti-doping Bill 2016 will be passed on time to beat the deadline set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The President said the Government has given the Bill priority, adding that he is personally following it up with the leadership in the National Assembly until it is passed.
“By next week latest, the Anti-Doing Bill will have been passed by Parliament and I will have signed it into law so that there will be no excuse to deny our team from participation in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State spoke today when he hosted the Paris Marathon and the World Half Marathon teams for breakfast at State House, Nairobi.
“We know there are people who are looking for excuses to ensure that Kenya does not participate in the Olympics. We will not give them that excuse,” President Kenyatta said.
“We must win clean,” the President told the athletes, saying Kenya’s undisputed position as the world athletics champions should not be tainted by doping.
Enactment of the Bill that is set to criminalise sports doping is a key requirement set by WADA for Kenya’s participation in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics starting on August 5.
The President congratulated the athletes for their sterling performance at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Wales and at the Paris Marathon.
“To the Paris team, you made us very proud. Every meeting we attended in Paris, people were singing ‘Kenya-Kenya-Kenya’ as a result of your efforts. Congratulations also to the World Half Marathon team for the pride you have also brought to our country,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said that the Kenyan athletes have continued to bring pride and recognition to Kenya cross the world.
“As athletes, you are not only putting Kenya on the map and giving us pride but you are also representing what is best about our country. This is something that we are very proud of and I want to assure you of my personal as well as my Government’s continued support,” Kenyatta added.
As a way of appreciation, the President announced that every athlete who wins a gold medal will receive a Sh1 million reward, silver medal Sh500, 000 while bronze medallists will be awarded Sh250, 000 while the team that wins will also receive Sh1 million.
“Even if you win prizes, you represent our country. Therefore, we also have a responsibility to appreciate your efforts.”
The World Half Marathon Championships team was led by 23-year old record holder Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor while the team to the Paris Marathon was led by Cyprian Komurgor Kotut who won the Paris Marathon.
Kenyatta also disclosed that the Government has put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that Kenya successfully hosts the World Junior Athletics Championships in July next year.
Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei thanked President Kenyatta for his support to athletics and sports in general.
Tuwei assured that the Kenyan teams have embarked on preparations and will not disappoint in the coming competitions.
Sports, Culture and the Arts Principal Secretary Richard Ekai outlined the steps his Ministry has taken to boost sports, among them the establishment of the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA) which is operational.