Top athletes hail Doping Bill passage
Relief swept across Kenya’s athletics fraternity after the passing of the Anti-Doping Bill of 2016 in Parliament that allayed fears the country could be banned from international competition.
Men’s Javelin world champion, Julius Yego, fellow Beijing 2015 gold medallist in 400m Hurdles; Nicholas Bett and Paris Marathon winner, Cyprian Kotut, could not hide their joy when they received news that the Bill had passed the third reading and that its only waiting to be signed by the President.
“I would like to thank our Members of Parliament for finally passing the Anti- Doping Bill. We have been waiting for so long; although the process was slow which made me worried especially when we missed the second deadline set by WADA.
“Olympics Games are a few months away and I hope the President will sign the Bill soon because Kenya is well known in athletics and now Rugby Sevens has joined in making Kenya more prominent in the world,” Yego told Citizen Digital.
“The passage of the Bill has given us hope and up-coming athletes can focus more on training. Now I can train without any worries for Olympics and I would urge the President to sign the Bill very soon,” Bett said.
“I’m happy the President kept his promise and I’m grateful for his support. Now I’m free, I can face the world and run without fear of being told that you are using drugs. It shows that the Government of Kenya is concerned and cares for good sportsmanship. I’m more motivated to prepare for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in India, and it’s only a month away,” Kotut stressed.
Boston Marathon 2012 champion and Cherangany Member of Parliament, Wesley Korir, was happy that the long process was finally over.
“I’m very happy that Parliament has finally passed the Anti-Doping Bill. This has been my dream that I have been working on tirelessly since I was elected. Even as we celebrate the Kenya 7s team for their historic win, we need to make sure that the world can trust us by being honest and clean in sports,”the fourth finisher at Sunday’s 120th edition of Boston proclaimed.
The proposed law now awaits President Uhuru Kenyatta’s assent to beat the May 2nd deadline by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Bill proposes a penalty of 3 million shillings or imprisonment of not less than three years, for a person or body, who unlawfully transports or transfers, prohibited substances within or outside Kenya.
Similar penalties apply for individuals who stock supplies of products containing banned substances or generally cause an athlete to use such substances.
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