Anti-Doping Bill to be tabled in Parliament today

Athletics Kenya (AK) Riadha House headquarters. PHOTO/File
Athletics Kenya (AK) Riadha House headquarters. PHOTO/File

The government-sponsored Anti-Doping Bill will be tabled and debated on the floor of the house on Tuesday.

Kenya is racing against time to meet the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) deadline that was extended to May 5, 2016 to ensure compliance.

This comes after the country missed the two initial deadlines of February 16 and April 5, 2016.

National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi has urged Members of Parliament to pass the Bill in order to beat the deadline set by WADA, for compliance with its code to avert a possible ban for Kenya’s track and field athletes from international competitions.

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured that the Anti-doping Bill 2016 would be passed on time to beat the deadline set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The president said the government has given the Bill priority, adding that he is personally following it up with the leadership in the National Assembly until it is passed.

“By next week latest, the Anti-Doing Bill will have been passed by Parliament and I will have signed it into law so that there will be no excuse to deny our team participation in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August,” said President Kenyatta.

Last week, the National Assembly published a gazette notice inviting the public to give their views and recommendations on the Anti-Doping Bill 2015 when the departmental committee tables its report in the House.

The Anti-Doping Bill had already undergone the first reading, according to Standing Order 127(3), before Parliament went on recess on April 5th.

Article 118(1) (b) of the Constitution provides that: “Parliament shall facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of the Parliament and its Committees.”

On April 7th 2016, Kenya was handed a one-month extension to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and thereby avoid future sanctions.

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.

In March, the governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was highly unlikely Kenya would be suspended from the Olympics.

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Maureen Murimi
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