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WADA strikes Kenya off non-compliant list

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Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hassan Wario presented the amended Kenya's Anti-doping bill to WADA headquarters this wee.PHOTO/courtesy.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hassan Wario presented the amended Kenya’s Anti-doping bill to WADA headquarters this wee.PHOTO/courtesy.

MONTREAL, Canada, Aug 4- The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday evening struck Kenya off the non-compliance list having been satisfied by the amended Anti-Doping Law that was passed in parliament early June.

In a statement published on its website, WADA says the foundation’s board voted to give Kenya a thumbs up on its new anti-doping framework.

“Following a circular vote of its Foundation Board members, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wishes to announce that it has removed the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) from the list of signatories previously deemed non-compliant with the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). Kenya has drafted and adopted anti-doping legislation now deemed to be in line with the Code.”

“As stipulated in Article 23.5.5 of the Code, WADA will report the declarations of non-compliance to the Sports Movement and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),” WADA said in its statement.

Kenya was declared non-compliant by WADA on May 12 after the legislation passed by parliament failed to meet parameters of the world anti-doping code.

“As in all cases of non-compliance, WADA will now hand the decision over to its stakeholders, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UNESCO for their consideration and action,” WADA said in a statement after passing the non-compliant Verdict on Kenya in May.

This came after Kenya had missed two previous WADA deadlines for passage of legal authorization to underpin its national anti-doping agency.

The decision was reached on at a time when the country had come under sharp scrutiny over doping cases. A total of 40 Kenyan athletes have been found guilty of doping violations since 2012, and 18 are currently suspended, according to the most recent documentation on the IAAF website.

After the May 12 decision, Kenya took on a diplomatic route to solve the issue with a high powered delegation led by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed and her sports counterpart Hassan Wario heading to Montreal, Canada for talks with WADA bosses.

A road map was reached after the meeting where WADA gave its demands to strike Kenya off the non-compliant list.

Despite accusations and counter accusations on who changed the initial bill prepared by Anti-Doping Association of Kenya (ADAK), WADA and the parliamentary select committee on Labor, the new law was taken back to parliament where it was amended to suite the WADA code.

The same was presented back to Canada by Wario who announced on his official twitter account on June 16 that the anti-doping watch dog had approved Kenya’s new law.

This will come as a huge relief to Kenyan athletes preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with the spotlight now falling off their faces.

While presenting the flag to the team at State House last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the athletes to go to Rio and show the whole world that the country’s athletes run clean.

“We have a clean team and that is what I want to assure everybody. Personally as an athlete, I have never believed in performance enhancing drugs and I know no one in our team is using drugs. We run clean,” Kenya’s team captain to Rio, Cherangany MP Wesley Korir said.

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