Kenya's sports minister Hassan Wario has remarked the proposed anti-doping law of the country has been delayed and requires more work. Authorities however expressed confidence that it would still meet requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency and be in place by the April 5 deadline.
The sports minister said the legislation that was due to be presented to the Parliament of Kenya for approval needs changes and is with his office. On Wednesday, Wario criticized blasted the country's national track and field federation and called for elections to select a new leadership. Wario also claimed the IAAF President Sebastian Coe "alluded" to him that athletics' governing body had also lost faith in Kenyan athletics officials. Wario launched his stinging criticism during a Kenyan television show on which the acting president of Athletics Kenya, the track federation, was also about to make an appearance.
On the TV show, Wario said probably the way out of this is a very free and fair election so that we get a new team of people on board and we engage with them. The sports minister's comments challenged AK's acting head Jackson Tuwei who was the fellow guest on the show and Wario added Kenyans have lost faith in what is going on in that federation as it is now.
Three of Athletics Kenya's most senior officials were suspended by the IAAF, pending the outcome of investigations by its ethics committee over alleged doping cover-ups. AK President Isaiah Kiplagat, vice president David Okeyo and chief executive Isaac Mwangi are all under investigation, along with the federation's former treasurer. A few days back, Mwangi was placed under investigation after it was alleged by two athletes who failed doping tests and banned that he tried to extort bribes totaling $48,000 from them in exchange to organize lenient doping bans.
Tuwei, who is in temporary charge of a federation under severe scrutiny, remarked Athletics Kenya officials could not have reduced doping bans as sanctions were decided by an independent medical and anti-doping commission.
Recently, WADA gave Kenya a deadline until April 5 for passing laws to criminalize doping. WADA also asked Kenya to properly establish and fund the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya. A failure by Kenya would result in it being declared non-compliant with WADA's code that would further mean Kenya could be suspended from international competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of athletics.
Kenya's new anti-doping agency is making all efforts these days to downplay criticism that the proposed laws and regulations governing it were not in line with the WADA Code. In a statement on Thursday, the agency said it was in regular contact with WADA over the documents, which were on their seventh draft. The anti-doping agency of Kenya denied that WADA had rejected Kenya's proposals.
Many Kenyan athletes and Athletics Kenya have expressed fears recently that the proposed anti-doping legislation of the country may not meet the standards of WADA. This would put the East African nation in danger of being suspended ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
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