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WADA extends Kenya’s anti-doping law deadline to May 2

Francisca Koki in action during her women 400m Hurdles heat in Beijing. PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images

Francisca Koki in action during her women 400m Hurdles heat in Beijing. PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images

NAIROBI, April 7 – The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has again given Kenya until May 2 to implement WADA’s code or risk missing out on the 2016 Olympic Games.

A second WADA deadline expired on Tuesday with Kenyan MPs having failed to pass a bill criminalising sports doping.

“Unless the Bill, policy and ADAK’s (Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya) rules are formally adopted by 2 May 2016, the Compliance Review Committee’s recommendation to the WADA Foundation Board will be to declare the ADAK non-compliant,” WADA said in a statement.

WADA added that it would vote on the matter at its next meeting in Montreal on May 12.

“The Compliance Review Committee met April 5 to discuss the outstanding issues related to the implementation of the 2015 Code in the Kenyan legal system. The committee concluded that the current situation is not in compliance with the 2015 Code, since the bill, policy and ADAK rules have not yet been formally adopted,” WADA added.

The government sponsored 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 legislation.

On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta was hopeful Kenyan track and field athletes would compete at the Rio Olympics slatted for August despite doubts over the country’s anti-doping legislation.

Speaking in an interview with France 24 television, Kenyatta said that Kenya needed more time to pass a robust anti-doping law and avoid a threatened Olympics ban.

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“Every country has a way in which it formulates its rules and we cannot jump that step. We have made a commitment, the law has been passed by my cabinet already, but it must now go through the processes of enactment, which goes through the legislature, it must have public participation,” Kenyatta insisted.

The Head of State added, “But the country itself is committed and what we’re telling them is let our processes go through. What we’re assuring them is that we may not be able to achieve the deadline they have set, but the deadline should be based on the national legislative process and I believe that within the next month we should have gone through all the necessary processes that guide the way we make laws in Kenya.”

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