Thursday, April 7, 2016 4:56 pm
Kenya has been handed a one-month extension to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and thereby avoid future sanctions, an official told Reuters on Thursday.
“We have been given a one-month extension by WADA…we are proceeding to Mombasa to consult with the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Sports so that when the (new anti-doping) bill comes for a second reading … we will be on the same page,” said an Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) source.
The bill is a key requirement for the east African nation, famed for its distance runners but tarnished by around 40 doping cases in recent years, to be declared compliant with the WADA code ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
“We have no doubt things will be fine,” added the highly-placed source who declined to be identified.
Kenya was given a deadline to enact the law or be declared non-compliant, which brings WADA sanctions, but parliament went into recess earlier this month and the bill could not become law before time ran out on April 5.
The governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said last month it was highly unlikely Kenya would be suspended from the Olympics.
WADA is due to issue its decision on Kenya’s case at a board meeting on May 12.
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday that the bill could not be fast-tracked to beat the deadline but he was certain his nation’s athletes would be participating at the Olympics.
“The country is committed and what we are telling them (WADA) is … let our processes go through,” Kenyatta told France 24 in an interview.
“I’m confident Kenya will participate at the Olympics and win more gold … the problem would have been if there was lack of commitment in terms on enacting. That commitment is there at the National Assembly.”
WADA spokesman Ben Nichols told the BBC on Tuesday that his agency was happy with the first steps Kenya had taken towards meeting compliance.
The country’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario told the BBC that the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Sports would be meeting in Mombasa on Friday to pour over the bill before it went for its second and third readings.