Athletics Athletics

Wario, Amina to meet WADA in Canada over Kenya’s non-compliance

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario adresses the press outside Harambee House on Friday evening- PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario addresses the press outside Harambee House on Friday evening- PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13- Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario alongside his Foreign Affairs counterpart Ambassador Amina Mohamed will travel to Montreal, Canada this weekend for a meeting with the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) following the non-compliance verdict on Kenya Thursday.

Addressing the press on Friday evening after a lengthy meeting at State House with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Wario flanked by Ambassador Mohamed said the government remains confident Kenya will be at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

“We have written to WADA and we will travel this weekend to Canada with Ambassador Amina and present our case strongly. We cannot as yet say which clauses exactly WADA were not okay with but we are still studying the document and we will release the details soon,” Wario said.

On Thursday, WADA’s foundation board declared Kenya non-compliant, citing “inconsistencies” in the newly passed law which meant it fell short of strict international standards.

“WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) confirmed that the outstanding issues had still not been addressed and so made the recommendation of non-compliance to the Board. 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.

Wario however maintains the government played its role well, absolving the ministry of blame over Kenya’s bounced compliance. He said it is on this reason they will be seeking audience with WADA in Montreal to know exactly where the law fell short.

 “Government always does its best to ensure they support the sporting fraternity in this country and we shall never relent on that. The government is doing all it can at this point and we will deal this issue to the end. We were shocked at the verdict but it’s time to take stock and ensure that our team is in the Olympics,” a confident Wario said.

-Ruto assurance-

Deputy President William Ruto also gave assurance of the government’s commitment to see that Kenya reads from the same page with WADA’s anti doping code, adding he remains confident the country will be represented at the Olympics.

 “I want to assure Kenyans and athletes in particular that we are taking the issue seriously. If there is anywhere in the law that we need to adjust to correct the situation, we will do so.”

“The sporting fraternity should know that the government will do whatever is required by the World Anti-Doping Agency and agree with it on every issue so that they (athletes) continue showing their talents and expertise,” said Ruto, speaking in a public rally at Kamasia Secondary school grounds in Marakwet East.

Cherangany legislator Wesley Korir who just this week was named in Kenya’s Marathon squad to the Olympics was also in attendance and urged the government to fast-track the process.

IAAF released a statement late Friday evening, saying Kenya is still in the monitoring process and during that period Kenyan athletes remain eligible to compete nationally and internationally.

 “As far as Kenya’s participation is concerned across all sports at the Olympic Games in Rio, the IAAF notes that WADA has referred its decision on non-compliance to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UNESCO for their consideration and action,” the IAAF added.

Kenyan athletes remain the most tested in athletics history with 40 already found in violation of doping rules.