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Sports

Kenyan athletes able to compete in Rio Olympic Games

Kenya’s track and field athletes will not be banned from competing in the Rio Olympics this summer despite serious IAAF concerns over the African nation’s anti-doping program.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said that Kenya wasn’t complying with its code, which called their participation in the Games into question.

The IAAF said in a statement to The Associated Press (AP) on Friday that Kenya will remain on a "monitoring list" of countries with doping problems until the end of the year. While the country’s drug-testing agency is still classed as “non-compliant,” the nation's athletes can still compete through to the end of 2016.

"During the monitoring process ... Kenyan athletes remain eligible to compete nationally and internationally," the IAAF said. The organization added that the country’s anti-doping program must be “significantly strengthened” by the end of this year.

It is still possible that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could veto this decision, but that is considered unlikely.

“A country's anti-doping agency can be non-compliant for a number of reasons, there are currently a number of others in this position," the IOC said in a statement to the AP. "It does not mean that the athletes will be stopped from participating in the Olympic Games."

Since the 2012 London Olympics, 40 Kenyan track and field athletes have been banned for doping - a rate of about one per month – and four senior track officials are under investigation by the IAAF for potential subversion of the anti-doping process.

Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario believes that now they know the problems, the country can clean up its athletics program.

“As soon as parliament reviews those highlighted bits of the legislation we are fully compliant," he said in a statement.

mp/dv (AP)

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