Rita Jeptoo

Kenyan politician calls for report into progress of anti-doping law following positive tests

A Kenyan Member of Parliament has called for a report on the anti-doping law as the country attempts to tackle a crisis following several positive tests in athletics.

Kathuri Murungi, a Member of Parliament for South Imenti, claimed an audit should take place to assess the situation.

Kenya introduced criminal laws as part of an anti-doping act back in 2016.

This included the creation of a national testing authority, Anti-Doping Kenya, while it made doping an offence which could be punished by imprisonment.

Revised legislation was published later that year after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the country non-compliant.

The changes led to them being made complaint again in time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Murungi reportedly called for the Ministry of Sport to do more to help tackle the crisis, asserting that they and Athletics Kenya need to better assess coaches for their credibility.

He also called for new policies to be introduced to boost Kenya’s reputation following the positive tests.

“The WADA has been issuing incessant sanctions to Kenya for non-compliance and delays implementing the laws pose a threat to our social co-existence and integration globally,” Murungi said, according to All-Africa.

“There are allegations that banned substances are used by athletes in the training camps and this is blamed on both local and international trainers.”

Currently, 18 Kenyans are suspended for breaches of anti-doping rules by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

This includes world 800 metres bronze medallist Kipyegon Bett, who was last week confirmed to have tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo and Jemimah Sumgong, the Olympic marathon gold medallist at Rio 2016, are other high-profile Kenyan athletes who are currently serving suspensions for doping offences.

Reigning Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet, who now represents Bahrain but continues to train and live in Kenya where she was born, has also been suspended since February following an EPO failure.

A further four are provisionally suspended by the AIU, including Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei, distance runner Lucy Wangui Kabuu and sprinter Boniface Mweresa.

A case is also pending against three-time world champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist Asbel Kiprop after he tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) included the distance-running superpower on a list of nations most at risk of doping in July.

It came as part of new regulations by the IAAF Council which put more responsibility on National Federations to deal with the problem.

Kenya and Ethiopia were among four countries included in Category A – member federations the IAAF believe are most likely to have doping problems – along with Belarus, hosts of next year’s European Games, and Ukraine.

Athletics Kenya last week announced the establishment of an Oversight Committee as they seek to tackle the spate of doping cases involving their athletes.

There was a boost earlier this week when it was confirmed that a first East African WADA accredited laboratory had been approved.

Source: insidethegames.biz

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