Anti doping bill is just a signature away from Law

By evelyn watta
Apr 19, 2016

After months of uncertainty and expiration of deadlines, Kenya is now just a stroke of a pen away to having the necessary law on Anti Doping.

After a tenuous and rushed hearings, Members of Parliament on Tuesday approved the Anti-Doping bill rejecting calls for last-minute changes.

The new legislation – which now only requires the signature of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who gave his personal commitment that the bill would be passed before the May 2 deadline set by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The MPs rejected last minute alterations that sought to review the fines and jail-terms for sports cheats, agenda, coaches and the doctors.

This would have meant dropping or reducing the Ksh.3 million fine for medical professionals who prescribe banned drugs to Kenyan athletes.

"If you say a maximum of 5 million shillings, the judge can give zero fine. This one should be rejected. It is a bad one," argued Rangwe MP George Oner.

The bill if signed by Kenyatta will criminalize drugging in sport.

Kenya had risked being declared non compliant, after the country failed to meet the earlier set deadline of April 5.

The government had insisted that as much as they were keen on having the laws in place the full statutory process had to be adhered to and this may not be done within the set deadline, but it seems like the final warning from WADA has jolted the legislature and Executive into action.

Kenya has about two weeks to sign the bill into law or be declared non compliant a decision that could mean suspension by the IAAF or the International Olympic Committee that could mean its athletes missing the Summer games in August.

Kenya has been on the spotlight following a spike of positive cases among the country’s famed long distance runners and a non existent national anti doping rule and testing center.

Forty Kenyans runners have failed drug tests in the last four years while four officials led by its president Isaiah Kiplagat suspended by the IAAF for doping cover ups and corruption allegations. The WADA Foundation Board will vote on Kenya’s compliance or non compliance case at its next meeting in Montreal on 12 May 2016.