Kenya given deadline to improve doping programme

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have given Kenya until 2 May to prove that they are tackling doping in sport.

Kenya have already missed two previous deadlines on 11 February and 5 April, meaning that they are now at serious risk of being banned from this year’s Rio Olympics should they miss this deadline.

The past 5 years have seen a large amount of doping being uncovered in Kenya, with over 40 of their athletes failing drugs tests since 2011.

The nation has therefore placed on a ‘watch-list’ of countries that could potentially break the WADA code, being told to make legal changes to their anti-doping system in order to be released from it.

Kenya have been largely successful at the distance events in athletics, with stars such as 800m all-time record holder David Rudisha and current Olympic steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi helping them top the medal table at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

David Rudisha also spoke of his frustration on Kenyan doping earlier this year, describing the drug users as “foolish”.

“A few years ago this problem has been coming.” He stated in an interview in Melbourne, “But it’s really tough. Because these young athletes who are desperate to make money, to win races, they end up being fools and getting into these drugs.”

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) suspended Athletics Kenya’s chief executive Isaac Mwangi in February this year, after he was accused by two local athletes of taking bribes to reduce doping bans.

However, Athletics Kenya’s acting president Jackson Tuwei remains confident that they have made enough progress in tackling doping.

“The government has forwarded a report to WADA to show the progress that has been done in complying with the Wada regulations,” he stated at a junior trials meet in Nairobi, “I’m also aware they (WADA) have accepted the documents and are satisfied with the progress.”

While the decision in May will not be completely decisive, a negative reaction from Wada will see Kenya become the latest nation, along with Russia, whose place in this year’s Rio Olympics is placed under serious threat.