Kenya facing athletics ban over increased doping cases

By Mutwiri Mutuota

 

Kenya is staring at an international ban from athletics due to increased cases of doping that will see the country miss among others, the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and World Athletics
are set to meet on Friday in Monte Carlo to review the state of doping around the world with the deteriorating Kenya doping situation high on the agenda.

Kenya has remained in Category A of countries with the highest prevalence of doping since 2017 despite efforts made by the government and the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) established in 2016.

WADA, AIU and World Athletics are due to take action after the worst year Kenya has
experienced since the doping crisis in the East African country came to light in 2015.
So far in 2022, 45 athletes have been sanctioned for anti-Doping Rule Violations by the AIU and ADAK while another 20 other cases are under review.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Ababu Namwamba

On Thursday, the country’s Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Ababu Namwamba, released a press statement assuring the government was taking stern measures to protect and uphold the integrity of athletics and sports in general.

“We cannot allow our nation to be banned because of actions of some greedy unethical
individuals.

“We will target and deal decisively with the criminals and their syndicates. We must work
together to eradicate doping and cheating from athletics and sports in general,” Namwamba said in the statement.

The minister is reported to have written to World Athletics president, Lord Sebastian Coe on
Wednesday pledging the government will spend 5 million U.S. dollars per year for the next five years towards eradicating doping.

Although Kenya’s situation is different from the state-sponsored doping that has seen Russia expelled from international athletics events since 2018, WADA, AIU and World Athletics feel that enough has not been done to stem the rising cases.

Officials familiar with the situation tell CGTN that Kenya is likely to get a three-year ban.

Among the requirements is the arrest and prosecution of those accused of running the doping ring in the country including unscrupulous agents, managers, and medics from within and outside Kenya who are fueling what is an illegal industry.