Kenya says it "well on the way" to fixing anti-doping law in time for Rio
20 May 2016, 17:29
Nairobi (Reuters) - Kenya is "well on the way" to complying with the code of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the government said on Wednesday after discussions to fix an anti-doping law whose shortcomings threatened Kenya's participation at the Rio Olympics.
A Kenyan delegation including the foreign and sports ministers held talks with WADA in Canada on Tuesday after the agency declared last week that the law pushed through parliament in April still left Kenya non-compliant with its code.
The agency's announcement threw into question the participation of Kenya, famed for its distance runners, in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August. Any decision on a ban would be in the hands of the International Olympic Committee.
Kenya said its delegation had "amicably" agreed on a road map to ensure full compliance and this would involve presenting amendments agreed with WADA to parliament and, once passed, sending the act to WADA for review and approval.
"Both teams agreed that Kenya is well on the way to full compliance with the Code subject to changes that need to be made to the Kenya Anti-Doping Act," a Kenyan statement said, adding that Kenya "should have representation" in the Olympics.
The statement did not detail the changes but Sports Minister Hassan Wario said on Saturday that the presence of government officials in the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) had led to WADA's declaration of non-compliance.
Kenya's governing athletics body, Athletics Kenya, has come under intense scrutiny over the state of its drug testing and bureaucracy amid allegations of corruption.
Forty Kenyan runners have been found guilty of doping since 2012 and 18 of them are currently suspended, according to the world governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has said WADA's action reflected concerns about Kenya's commitment to fighting doping.
Kenya's government has insisted it is battling doping in sport to make sure its athletes are clean.