NAIROBI, June 20, 2016 – Hassan Wario, Kenya’s Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture announced last week that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has approved the amendments to Kenya’s Anti-Doping Bill with no additional demands.
Wario met WADA officials in Montreal, Canada, the Agency’s headquarters where he presented the amended Law passed by Kenya’s parliament after the initial one fell short of the WADA code.
“Next step is Presidential assent and thereafter Kenya is set for full compliance with the WADA Code,” Wario announced on his official Official Twitter account on Thursday evening.
But despite the new development spelling a big step for Kenya to reverse the non-compliance status slapped on them by WADA, a new twist of events is set to unfold with journalist Hajo Seppelt set to release a new documentary with German Television ARD on doping in Kenya.
Last year, Seppelt caused a stir with a documentary presenting indications of systematic doping within the Russian Athletics Federation. He also did a report that asked serious question of athletics in general and Kenya’s long-distance runners in particular.
“The Doping Secret: The Dark Side of Athletics” suggests that many marathon runners and other track-and-field athletes from Kenya engage in blood doping with substances such as EPO.
It will throw new dynamics into the war on doping which the Cabinet Secretary vowed to fight till the end.
Early May, WADA declared Kenya non-compliant after the Bill passed by Parliament failed to meet WADA’s Code.
The shocker from Canada forced Kenya to seek a diplomatic solution with Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Amina Mohamed leading a high powered delegation that also included Wario and his sports ministry officials to Montreal.
In a meeting held May 17, both sides amicably agreed on a roadmap that would see Kenya become fully compliant with the WADA code, subject to changes that needed to be made to the Kenya Anti-Doping Act.
The Law was taken back to Parliament where the required amendments were made and WADA now seems to be happy with the new law.
With Presidential assent, the Anti-Doping Law will now be fully entrenched into the Kenyan constitution and struck off from the non-compliant list.
Kenya has been increasingly on the spotlight due to doping cases with close to 40 athletes being handed separate bans by the IAAF on doping related offenses. Kenyan athletes have however maintained they ‘run clean’.