Athletics Athletics

WADA to decide Kenya’s doping non-compliance fate May 12


NAIROBI, April 5 – Kenya will know its 2016 Olympics fate May 12 when the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) announces the verdict whether to declare the country non-compliant after missing the extended deadline that expired Tuesday.

WADA’s compliance review committee met in Montreal on Tuesday to make recommendations before arriving on the final decision when the board converges at the conclusion of the Executive Committee and Foundation meeting in May 12.

Once a country is declared Wada non-compliant, the International Olympic Committee as well as international Federations like the IAAF have the right to ban it from international competitions.

WADA had placed Kenya on a ‘watch-list’ of nations at risk of breaching its code after failing to meet initial February 11 deadline to pass a law establishing a new national anti-doping agency.

The Anti-Doping Bill was tabled in the National Assembly last week and is now awaiting debate when the House resumes sittings April 12.

The MPs are currently on a 10-day recess during which the House Labour and Social Welfare Committee is expected to collect views from the public and stakeholders on the Bill.

Kenyan authorities will be banking on the preliminary reading by MPs and Sh500,000 the government allocated for the establishment of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya to persuade WADA give them more time to enact the legislation into law.

A fortnight ago, Kenya’s Olympic Chief Kipchoge Keino said lack of action has hampered preparations for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games slated for August.

“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 said.

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.

With just four months to go before the Rio Olympics start, Russian athletes remain banned after the IAAF suspended the country over systemic doping last year.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe had said he is ready to ban Kenya too if it is declared Wada non-compliant.

Kenya is dominant at distance running and topped the medal table at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with seven gold medals.

Since 2011, more than 40 of its athletes have failed drugs tests with three senior officials at Athletics Kenya suspended following accusations they were involved in corruption linked to Doha’s successful bid for the 2019 World Championships.