Athletics Athletics

WADA orders Kenya to explain its doping controls

Doping laboratory. PHOTO/FILE

NAIROBI, November 19 – The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has put Kenya under scrutiny after six countries were declared non-compliant following a Foundation Board meeting in Colorado Springs, USA on Wednesday.

Six others were warned they face the same action next year if improvements are not made.

Although not yet officially sanctioned, Kenya has been ordered to fully explain its doping controls, with unsatisfactory answers expected to attract punishment.

WADA is encouraged by the approved rules and laws by President Uhuru Kenyatta to give the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) powers to operate, but it warned Kenya could be ruled non-compliant with its code, if they fail to provide answers on its anti-doping program.

“WADA is encouraged by media reports that Kenyan cabinet has now approved rules and approved laws and that it will commit funding to Kenyan anti-doping programme,” a statement from WADA declared.

ADAK which was gazetted on January 30 this year was authorised to prosecute drug cheats as well as develop and execute Anti-Doping rules and regulations.

WADA concerns may evolve after doping cases recently spiked in Kenya with 35 drug cheats convicted since 2012.

Athletics Kenya CEO, Isaac Mwangi last Thursday told Capital Sport are sprinters; Joyce Zakari and Francesca Koki, whose A-Samples tested positive during the Beijing IAAF World Championships will know their fate soon since investigations were at an advanced stage.

Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was on Thursday suspended by WADA for being non-compliant.

Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Israel and Ukraine are the other nations that have failed to comply while Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Mexico and Spain have until March 2016 to put their act together.

Deeming RUSADA non-compliant was recommended last week by the WADA Independent Commission in its 323-page report which published allegations of systemic doping within Russian athletics, as well as the involvement of the FSB secret police in the testing programme.

WADA’s does not have the right to directly ban or impose further punishments on countries deemed non-compliant.

Other bodies, however, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) can, as the latter illustrated last week by suspending Russia from all competition.

Brazil’s failure to comply could have major ramifications for the nation’s hosting of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games and France’s staging of the Euro 2016 Football Championships as WADA does have the right to recommend a country ineligible to bid for or host events.

“As we have seen from WADA’s immediate response to the Independent Commission’s Report, action is now well underway to right wrongs that exist in anti-doping.

“Our priority is now on ensuring all our partners are fully compliant and have watertight anti-doping systems that protect clean athletes and reassure sports fans worldwide,” said WADA President Sir Craig Reedie.

“Make no mistake, we will not rush this process of compliance, we will do it right, the integrity of sport is under threat. Anti-doping in sport is under the spotlight today like never before, and WADA, along with our partners, have begun the work needed on the road to recovery for Russia. The world is watching and we have acted,” Sir Craig Reedie added.

Sir Craig, also an IOC vice-president, insisted “necessary meetings” will now be held with Russian authorities.

The meeting has been hailed as a “defining moment” for the anti-doping industry, evidence of their willingness to take action against countries which are not following the WADA Code.

The Board also endorsed moves for WADA to look at strengthening its ability to conduct international investigations, including increasing the mandate of the Independent Commission to investigate other sports within Russia.