NAIROBI, November 13 – Finally, President Uhuru Kenyatta has given the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) the powers to operate after the Cabinet approved its establishment in a meeting held at Nairobi’s State House on Friday.
ADAK was gazetted on January 30 this year with former Permanent Secretary, James Waweru, appointed chairman by Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Art and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario, but it had to wait until now for the approval of Government to fully function.
The development sees ADAK authorised to prosecute drug cheats as well as develop and execute Anti-Doping rules and regulations.
“The national agency will execute the enforcement of the Kenya Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations as shall be approved by WADA from time to time and liaise with other government agencies in eradicating the use and abuse of performance enhancing substances amongst sports persons.
“The objective of the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency are; to carry out doping control in the country, promote the integrity of drug-free sports in the country, to oversee the prosecution of Anti-Doping cases, to promote values, information and preventive work aimed at fighting doping and to develop and execute Anti-Doping rules and regulations,” the statement sent from the Cabinet Office, underlined.
Other functions will see ADAK Co-operate with the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and any other anti-doping organization in carrying out anti-doping activities in Kenya.
The announcement comes after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Director General; David Howman declared ADAK moribund therefore, putting Kenya on the spot after what they perceived to be empty promises to stem escalating use of banned substances among the country’s athletes.
ADAK’s failure to comply with the WADA Code could have attracted the International Olympic Committee and the IAAF to punish Kenya including barring their officials from working at international events, barring the country from hosting official events and banning Kenyan athletes from competing for their country in the at international meets.
On Saturday, the joint communication between ADAK, National Olympic Committee of Kenya, Africa Zone V Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) and Athletics Kenya declared strict measures are being taken to establish a robust and autonomous doping agency in affirming commitment to stem rising cases of convicted drug cheats that stand at 35 since 2012.
However, even after the whistleblower who sparked the global investigation into doping in Russian athletics called for the sport’s authorities to also look at countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, Athletics Kenya (AK) CEO, Isaac Mwangi said there is nothing to worry about as the local athletics governing body has convicted those who have been found guilty.
“In terms of Athletics in Kenya, we have done the best. AK is the only federation with vibrant medical and anti-doping commission.
“We have been carrying out tests and hearing for those who have failed doping tests and we sanctioned those who have gone through the procedural requirements as set by IAAF and WADA
“We want to ensure Kenyans and the rest of the world that we are doing the best to trying to curb this menace and educate our athletes as much as possible. The government is working very quickly so we don’t have any fear in terms of Kenya been banned. If you look at the accusations levelled against Russia, they are not the same as what Kenya will be levelled against,” Mwangi told Capital Sport.
Among the athletes who have been convicted by AK is disgraced Kenya’s top female marathoner, Rita Jeptoo who is serving a two year ban after both her A and B samples turned positive for using banned substance blood booster, EPO.
The establishment of the Agency is in line with the resolutions reached at the 33rd Session of the General Conference of UNESCO on eliminating doping in sports, where State parties committed themselves to the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code.
The conference agreed to adopt appropriate measures such as legislation, regulation, policies, including administrative practices as a way of achieving the objectives of the convention.
During the Conference, Kenya was nominated to host RADO.
The main objective of establishing RADO was to help the nine member countries; Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to develop anti-doping programmes that are compliant with the World Anti-Doping code.