The World Anti-Doping Agency has extended a deadline for Kenya to fall into line with international norms. Kenyan athletes could face bans from competition if politicians fail to pass the necessary legislation.
A statement released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday said it had given Kenya a final deadline to pass an anti-doping law and formally adopt regulations for its new national doping body, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK). Failure to meet the deadline would lead WADA to rule that Kenya's sports system was "not in compliance" with the global code.
"Unless the bill, policy and ADAK rules are formally adopted by 2 May 2016, the Compliance Review Committee's recommendation to the WADA Foundation Board will be to declare the ADAK non-compliant," the statement said.
The statement followed a meeting of WADA's independent compliance committee on Tuesday, which ruled that Kenya remained non-compliant.
Although a WADA declaration of non-compliance would not directly affect Kenyan athletes' eligibility to compete, it could lead bodies like the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to consider imposing sanctions on them, as it has already done on Russia's athletes.
This leaves Kenya with just over three weeks to pass legislation criminalizing the use of performance-enhancing substances. The bill has been debated once in parliament, but there have been numerous delays getting it passed into law.
However, Kenyan officials have expressed confidence that they would be able to meet the latest deadline, despite have failed to do so on two previous occasions.
"We are all happy about this and confident that parliament will enact the bill within this period," Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya chief executive Japhter Rugut told The Associated Press.
pfd/ (AP, Reuters, AFP)