Kenya set to fix anti- doping law before Rio

Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario addresses a news conference on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommendations that judged Kenya as non-compliant with the WADA code, in the capital Nairobi on May 13, 2016.

Kenya is “well on the way” to complying with the code of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the government said after discussions to fix an anti-doping law whose shortcomings threatened Kenya’s participation at the Rio Olympics.

A Kenyan delegation including the foreign and sports ministers held talks with WADA in Canada after the agency declared last week that the law pushed through parliament in April still left Kenya non-compliant with its code.

The agency’s announcement threw into question the participation of Kenya, famed for its distance runners, in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August. Any decision on a ban would be in the hands of the International Olympic Committee.

Kenya said its delegation had “amicably” agreed on a road map to ensure full compliance and this would involve presenting amendments agreed with WADA to parliament and, once passed, sending the act to WADA for review and approval.

“Both teams agreed that Kenya is well on the way to full compliance with the Code subject to changes that need to be made to the Kenya Anti-Doping Act,” a Kenyan statement said, adding that Kenya “should have representation” in the Olympics.

The statement did not explain the changes but Sports Minister Hassan Wario said that the presence of government officials in the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) had led to WADA’s declaration of non-compliance.

Kenya’s governing athletics body, Athletics Kenya, has come under intense scrutiny over the state of its drug testing and bureaucracy amid allegations of corruption.

Forty Kenyan runners have been found guilty of doping since 2012 and 18 of them are currently suspended, according to the world governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has said WADA’s action reflected concerns about Kenya’s commitment to fighting doping.

Kenya’s government has insisted it is battling doping in sport to make sure its athletes are clean.

 

Reauters / Zainab Sa’id