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Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed with ADAK boss Japhtar Rugut during a past meeting. PHOTO/Amina Mohamed/Twitter

Athletics

Senate unanimously passes Bill that is set to criminalize doping

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 29 – Senators on Tuesday unanimously passed the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill 2020 that once assented into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta will see doping athletes, key among other stringent measures, subjected to jail terms.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had warned Kenya against failing to align its anti-doping laws with the new WADA codes and regulations by December 31, 2020.

The National Assembly had passed the bill on December 22, 2020.

With the Senate also having approved the bill, doping in sports has now been criminalized with those found engaging in the vice set to face the full wrath of the law.

Once assented into the law, the bill will harmonize the Anti-Doping Act of 2016 with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and Regulations to which Kenya is a party to.

The first WADA Code was adopted in 2004 and was later amended and a new one adopted in 2009.

The current code was ratified in 2015 and is due to be replaced by the 2021 code which will become operational on January 1, 2021.

The 2021 Code has introduced new international standards, being the 2021 International Standard for Education (ISE) and the 2021 International Standard for Results Management (ISRM).

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The Amendment Bill was proposed by Ministry of Sports through the Senate National Assembly Majority Leader, Amos Kimunya.

Among the clauses that have been amended from the Anti-Doping Act 2016 is clause 18 of the Bill which proposes to amend section 28 of the Act to provide for the use of samples and related analytical data collected from athletes, the laboratories that can test athletes and the submission of all test samples to the Agency

Also amended is section 41B of the Act in order to provide for the responsibility of sports federation m enforcing the Anti-Doping Rules within the Federations.

Kenya has been hard at war fighting against the doping menace which has continually stained Kenya’s glittering athletics fame.

Several high-profile athletes have fallen into the Athletics Integrity Unit net with the latest suspension involving 1500m Commonwealth Games champion Elijah Manangoi.

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo and 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong are among other high profile names to be handed drug bans.

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