Returning Wario: WADA has not set Kenya compliance deadline

hassan wario
Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.[Photo/Courtesy]

Sports Minister Dr. Hassan Wario proclaimed on his return from Canada on Thursday night that Kenya has no set deadline from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to amend the country’s doping law for the non-compliance decision to be reversed.

Speaking to Citizen Digital at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wario added they had given themselves a ‘fortnight or two’ to run the amendments through the National Assembly.

“We had a very successful meeting with WADA and we still have some work to do. We still have about 18 points to correct between us and WADA, part of the team is still there.

“As WADA Director General put it, it is a learning curve for them as it is for us. We insisted from the beginning that we are compliant as a nation and in a way, we were cutting new pathways.

“We are among the few countries with an Anti-Doping Act in the world which means there was no template to follow. We were looking at the analogy of the traffic light where we have red, green and amber. We felt at that time that WADA did not have amber, it was red or green. We fell more on the amber side, which is very good, which is more than 80 percent of the act was seen to be complaint,” the Minister said.

“They are quite flexible. We are giving ourselves a timeline of maybe a fortnight or two to ensure we pass everything through Parliament and Senate and WADA will be able to convene the Compliance Committee through electronic voting and we will be given the results as soon as possible,” the Cabinet Secretary who also handles Culture and the Arts reported.

Wario was the part of the high powered Kenyan delegation that met with WADA officials in their headquarters in Montreal to discuss the bombshell verdict to declare the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya non-compliant  on May 12.

Foreign Minister, Ambassador Amina Mohamed and Wario led the high powered Kenyan delegation that met with WADA officials in their headquarters in Montreal to discuss the bombshell verdict to declare the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya non-compliant.

He told reporters he had returned to the country to attend to other matters but left behind the rest of the team consisting of Solicitor General, Njee Muturi, ADAK Chairman James Waweru and his CEO; Japhter Rugut as well as Kenya’s Ambassador to Canada, Ambassador John Lanyasunya to continue fine-tuning the law with WADA officials.

Unlike during the drafting of the law, WADA and Kenyan officials will not pass the amendments back and forth for agreement but instead, will work on the changes until consensus is reached before the law is brought to Parliament.

“We sat there and our team is still there to ensure that these are the things we want amended and some of them were about definitions for instance, agreeing or disagreeing on a word or two, not very big issues. We want to 100 percent to get it right so that they agree and sign it off.

“By the time I left there they had only one issue with one item and we were clearing up on that. So we signed it off and I signed my letter which I officially handed over the areas for correction to them with the agreement,” the minister explained.

The remaining team is expected back home according to Wario next week where a clearer state of affairs will be announced to the public.

-Kenya complied-

Wario reiterated apart from the law the global anti-doping body found parts questionable; Kenya had fulfilled six of the seven conditions set to attain compliance saying that WADA also failed to follow its Code before declaring ADAK non-compliant.

“There is something WADA conceded to and it is critical, they should have called us before they released the results and it is in their Code. They should have raised issues of concern, called us, sat down with us and once we agree on that, they should have released the results.

“They injured a very sporting nation and we felt we had to raise that. Its in their Code, they should have called us before,” he added saying WADA had understood their argument.

“Their concern was mainly about a sportsperson, they did not want the sportsperson to be arrested, they wanted them sanctioned according to their rules,” Wario told of the biggest sticking point in the 26 clauses WADA highlighted saying 18 of them had been resolved.

Noting that the issue was only about a National Anti-Doping Body, Wario said the matter had been blown out of proportion by peddling fears Kenyan athletes would be banned from internatlional competition including the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Minister said the Government would lift its suspension of ADAK announced when he met President Uhuru Kenyatta in the aftermath of the damning verdict as soon as WADA declares the local body compliant.

Senators and Members of Parliament from the Labour and Social Services Committees of the lower and upper houses also travelled to Canada as stakeholders in a bid to “ensure a process through Parliament that is faster than when the law was been debated and enacted.”

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