Athletics Kenya (AK) has vowed to push through the bill on criminalizing doping in the country amidst the rising cases of the vice.
While addressing press on Friday, AK president Jackson Tuwei revealed that the bill in question has already been handed over to the Ministry of Sports awaiting to be presented to the National Assembly.
With the war against doping having gathered momentum in the country so does the cases of athletes being convicted with two high level cases increase with two high level cases already reported since the start of 2020.
Former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and former World Under-20 champion Alfred Kipketer have since been charged by AIU for whereabouts failure barely two weeks into 2020 with Tuwei now advocating for more stern action beyond the convictions from the World Athletics.
“Last year when the Cabinet Secretary visited us here last year, we discussed and handed over the drafted bill to the ministry. When somebody has violated the rules and has been taken through the system and if that athlete is punished then you see that is another punishment by another group. Is it an offence to have drugs in Kenya? If its is an offence then why can’t we take over from there to make sure that it is criminalized,” said Tuwei.
Tuwei further stated that AK in collaboration with government will ensure the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) is funded adequately for all the athletes in the country to be tested.
“As a country we are aware of the consequences of doping and therefore AK together with the government have agreed to increase funding for ADAK so that we can test all our athletes anytime, anywhere without notice and as many times as it can be done,” Tuwei said.
With the Olympics Games around the corner and Kenya set to host the World Under-20 Championships, Tuwei has however dismissed fears that Kenya might be banned in a similar way that Russia was banned.
“I think for us it is really a different case because we are trying everything within our means to end this menace,” he observed.
Kenya still remains in category A of countries with high doping prevalence under the World Athletics watch-list.
At the same time, Tuwei has blasted athletes for repeatedly making mistakes despite the heavy investment AK made on educating them.
“We have done many sensitization events on doping including the annual seminar that we just held last month in Eldoret. It is actually a shame that some athletes do not manage their whereabouts even with a lot of training. It can either be ignorance or they are trying to find shortcuts,” he said.