The world governing body of Track and Field is prepared to ban Kenya from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics if the country fails to comply with global anti-doping rules, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
The International Association of Athletics Federations chief remarked we know that a disproportionate amount of reputational damage is caused by a relatively few countries and we have to be very much more proactive.
Coe, who became the chief of IAAF last year, said the IAAF would ban Kenya if it means pulling them out of World Championships or Olympic Games. Coe also remarked he knows the World Anti-Doping Agency has looked very closely at the Kenyan National Anti-Doping Agency and added we of course monitor that through the IAAF so that work is ongoing. The IAAF chief made these comments while giving an interview to British television network BT Sport when asked about investigations into Kenya.
Russia's track and field program has already been suspended by the IAAF and Kenya now faces the risk of the same sanction. The ethics commission of IAAF is presently investigating doping cover-ups and extortion allegations in Kenya involving top officials. The committee is already investigating three other senior Athletics Kenya officials, including its president, for cover-ups associated with doping and other alleged misconduct. The chief executive of Kenya's track and field federation took temporary leave earlier this week after two athletes alleged that he asked them for a bribe to reduce their doping bans. Meanwhile, Kenya has also been on notice by the World Anti-Doping Agency for its failure to "live up to the standards." The country could now be declared non-compliant with the global anti-doping code.
On Thursday, it was announced by the Kenyan anti-doping agency that nearly $3 million has been received by it from the government for buying anti-doping equipment, including testing kits for all the remote training camps of the country. Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya chief executive Kiplimo Rugut remarked we have fully cooperated with WADA, although we recognize there has been delays in the processes, hence the lapse of one of the deadlines that had been put in place.
Jackson Tuwei, the acting president of Kenya's track and field federation, remarked it does not worry him now that we may face an Olympic ban, since ADAK (The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya) is working out a policy bill which will be taken to parliament to be made into law. Tuwei added he is confident that we will succeed and added we will work day and night to conform with the rules since we have been given another two months.
The Kenyan government has been urged by former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang to implement the required measures, including fast-tracking legislation criminalizing doping. Kipsang remarked we must all step up the fight against doping because if we are banned, Kenya will never be the same again. Kipsang went on to add that this is a country which has made its name as an athletics giant and further said that we have done well in the Olympic and World Championships and therefore, we should not miss out complying with the doping directives.