Rio 2016 blow as WADA declares Kenya non-compliant


Samples collected from athletes to test for doping. PHOTO/File
Samples collected from athletes to test for doping. PHOTO/File

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has declared Kenya non-compliant with immediate effect, confirming the worst fears that the proud distance running nation could be banned from international competition including the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“The #WADA CRC has made the unanimous recommendation that #Kenya be declared non-compliant with immediate effect.

“The CRC cites issues with #Kenya’s legislation which it says is not in line with the World Anti-Doping Code,” the anti-doping watchdog posted in two damning tweets that placed the country’s preparations for the summer Games in Brazil into a tailspin.

The WADA Compliance Review Committee presented its recommendation to declare the country that topped the world at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China to the Foundation Board to declare it non-compliant at a meeting in Montreal, Canada.

The Board adopted the recommendation and the country now awaits whether the international and Olympic bodies, IAAF and IOC will take cue and impose a ban on Kenya.

Shock and horror has greeted news the threat of the country athletes missing the Rio 2016 spreading fear at the top echelons of the sport as well as the athletes.

The BBC was the first to report on Thursday afternoon that WADA was set to rule the country has fallen short of convincing them they are committed to the fight against substance abuse among her celebrated athletes.

BBC Sports Editor, Dan Rohan dropped the bombshell that has caused panic in a country that believed it had done enough to be compliant to the Code.

“What I do know is that they apparently have made certain changes to that legislation they brought in last month which they didn’t inform WADA about. I think its that technicality  perhaps that means they will be declared non-compliant.

“There has been a recommendation from the WADA Compliance Committee that the Board finds them not compliant with the Code, in effect, in breach of their rules. They are not the only ones; there have been a whole host of countries in a similar category but it feels it matters more to Kenya than those.

“Kenya are one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to middle and long distance running. They are a real powerhouse nation. They were going to be a star in Rio and probably still will be but it just raises concerns they will be punished,” Rohan said in a radio broadcast.

“We understand that the International Olympics Committee could take what would be an unprecedented step of banning them from the Games, it’s never happened before but we are in a midst of a doping crisis and we have seen Russia for example banned from international competition in athletics.

“Sporting leaders are under mounting pressure to show they can crack down, they can get tough with cheats. In Kenya its not just a spate of doping tests, its also allegations of corruption in their athletics body too,” the respected BBC Sport added.

“It’s the last thing that Lord (Seb) Coe would want, its such a mammoth decision,” Rohan said of the possibility of world governing body IAAF president of banning Kenya from the Olympics.

The IAAF will meet on June 17 in Vienna to decide whether Russia who were banned last November will be re-instated to international competition and crucially, whether Kenya will be banned with Coe stating in February he would not hesitate to ban the country if it is found non-compliant.

“What will we do? They have not sent us any letter. What mistakes have we done and we test our athletes? How is this happening and we are working, the committee (Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya)?

“I’m shocked, we are working, everything is done, all what they have asked. There must be somebody in that doping body that don’t want us. The Government signed the Anti-Doping Bill,” an astonished National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Noc-k) chairman, Dr. Kipchoge Keino told Citizen Digital.

“I’m trying to find out from the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has received any letter, it is very shocking, there must be somebody behind this. The Committee has been working, we have been organising seminars. I don’t know what is happening; I’ll talk to people to find out. Let us fight and see where this is coming from,” he declared.

Athletics Kenya (AK) boss, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei was holding on to the belief BBC’s report was a false alarm but there was no mistaking the apprehension at Riadha House headquarters.

“We have heard the reports going round and we shall treat it as rumours until we get official communication from WADA. We are required to follow rules and regulations, Kenya is not special and it’s unfair for athletes to have unfair competition

“We are committed to show the world that we are going to work fairly we are declared compliant we shall be excited and the athletes will have peace of mind.

 

“I highly doubt if Kenya will be declared non compliant we have had negotiations and we have done the necessary requirements,” he stressed.

Tuwei said as part of reforms to make the local governing body compliant, AK is in the process of streamlining its operations to conform to the Sports Act of 2013 as well as the recently enacted Anti-Doping Law.

“We have just finished reviewing our Constitution and we want to comply with the Sports Act of Kenya and be registered. Then we can do a proper set up with the registrar

“We first want to fully comply then do the elections our term should be ending in April next year.Though 2016, is going to be busy,” he added.

“If it is true, then there is no use of travelling,” world men Javelin champion, Julius Yego who is preparing to leave for the second IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai said.

“It’s worrying and painful to remember the sacrifice, perseverance, dedication put towards achieving the success and ultimate goal and suddenly get in against you in any sport!!it’s hurt breaking and saddening!!

“I love and respect the rule/code of sport! If Kenya will be declared non -compliant then it’s not that Kenyan athletes have been winning through performance enhancing drugs!! Yes not we have won/if have won purely and clean!

“It’s just the few elements which have been there and it’s also everywhere in the world not only Kenya!! These are the elements we need to eradicate,” Yego then posted on his Facebook wall.

And when the news was confirmed, he wrote; “So now is WADA taking issue with the Kenya legislative authority or Kenyan athletes!!”

The horror of potentially missing the biggest sporting carnival is sadly sinking in.

Report by Mutwiri Mutuota and Charity Wanja

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