Kenya has until April 5 to fall in line with doping rules
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) Kenya has until April 5 to fall in line with global anti-doping rules or face being declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency, a step toward a possible ban from the Olympics for its track and field athletes.
Kenya already missed one deadline this month to pass anti-doping legislation and properly set up and provide funding for its new national anti-doping agency.
The latest draft regulations submitted by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya still do not comply with the world anti-doping code, WADA said in a statement on Monday. The East African country will now be assessed by an independent compliance review committee on April 5, when ''consideration will be given to a possible recommendation of non-compliance,'' WADA said.
That committee will make its recommendation to WADA's board, which will make the final decision on Kenya's status at its meeting on May 12.
Declaring Kenya non-compliant could cause its athletes to miss the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August as IAAF President Sebastian Coe has previously said his sport would consider suspending the country, a distance-running powerhouse, if it's in breach of anti-doping rules.
The IAAF suspended Russia from all international track and field competition after it was declared non-compliant with WADA's code following a report detailing a vast system of doping and cover-ups.
Along with problems with its national anti-doping body and failure to pass anti-doping legislation, Kenya is also accused of doping cover-ups, with four senior athletics officials now under investigation by the IAAF for ''potential subversion'' of anti-doping procedures.
The chief executive of Athletics Kenya, the national track and field federation, was the latest official to be suspended. Isaac Mwangi was placed under investigation by the IAAF on Monday. Two runners who failed doping tests at last year's world championships alleged in an interview with The Associated Press that Mwangi asked them for bribes in exchange for more lenient sanctions, leading to the investigation.
Mwangi joined Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat, vice president David Okeyo and former federation treasurer Joseph Kinyua in being suspended by the IAAF pending investigations by its ethics committee. Kiplagat, Okeyo and Kinyua are also accused of subverting anti-doping rules and other wrongdoing related to the misappropriation of federation money.
Over 40 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests since the 2012 Olympics, throwing the sport into crisis in the country.