ADAK, Athletics Kenya welcome WADA reprieve

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei join award-winning athletes for ...
(FILE)Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei join award-winning athletes for a photo shoot during the 2015 AK annual awards gala held at Safari Park hotel in Nairobi, Kenya on December 10, 2015. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and Athletics Kenya have welcomed the latest reprieve from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to extend the deadline for compliance by a month expressing confidence the proposed act to criminalise doping will be in place within the period.

Kenya is still not out of the woods yet with a WADA delivering a final grace period to a country that has missed the initial February 11 and Tuesday’s deadlines to comply with its code.

“Unless the bill, policy and ADAK rules are formally adopted by 2 May 2016, the Compliance Review Committee’s recommendation to the WADA Foundation Board will be to declare the ADAK non-compliant,” the anti-doping body said in a statement as Parliament got its last chance to ensure the Anti-Doping Bill of 2016 that went through its first reading last week is signed into law within the new deadline.

When confirming reports that Kenya had been awarded the extension it requested to complete the legislative process, ADAK CEO, Japhter Rugut told Citizen Digital the time is enough to enact the required legislation.

“We are all happy about this and confident that parliament will enact the bill within this period. Our role is clear cut, sensitisation, outreach programme and testing, tests and more tests.” Rugut added.

ADAK and the Parliamentary Departmental Committee of Labour and Social Welfare will meet in Mombasa starting Friday to thrash out a formula to ensure the proposed bill sails through the house in time to beat the last chance to avoid an international ban from competition including the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Speaking separately, AK president, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, urged athletes to continue training for the Olympics calling on the authorities to ensure the law to curb the vice that has seen 40 Kenyan runners banned for doping is in place.

“We hope now the people handling this law will move fast and ensure what is required to be done is done before the next deadline,” Tuwei stressed.

“Athletes were jittery about anything that would make them not go to the Olympics but with that one month, everything will be okay and they can continue to train and do well in Rio,” his vice-president in charge of Competition and Administration, Paul Mutwii, added.

WADA’s reprieve came against the backdrop of the country’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, assuring the anti-doping body the law to proscribe doping would be passed as soon as the legislative process can allow.

“Every country has a way in which it formulates its rules and we cannot jump that step. But the country itself is committed and what we are telling them is that, let our processes go through, what we are assuring them (WADA) we may not be able to achieve the deadline they have set,” the Head of State told a French TV.

“I’m confident Kenya will participate in Olympics and win more gold, because the problem would have been if there was lack of commitment in terms on enacting. That commitment is there also at the National Assembly,” he asserted.

Paul Kimani contributed to the report

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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