Kenya in race to stop athletics ban
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba yesterday made frantic efforts to assure the global athletics fraternity that the Kenyan government was committed to ending the high rise of doping cases.
Namwamba’s move came on the eve of a crucial decision set to be made by World Athletics in regard to the problem after Kenya recorded a mind-boggling 45 doping cases this year alone.
“Government is taking firm measures to protect and uphold the integrity of athletics and sports in general. The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and The Arts is working in unison with Athletics Integrity Unit and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to bring this end. The position of the Republic of Kenya is zero tolerance for doping. Kenya is fully committed to ending the doping menace,” Namwamba said.
He added: “The Ministry is exploring all available options to ensure that Kenya is removed from the list of Class A doping nations. Our athletes, coaches and relevant athletics institutions must work together to eradicate this menace that threatens the place of Kenya in international Athletics. We cannot allow our nation to be banned because of the actions of some greedy unethical individuals.”
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) also threw its weight behind Namwamba’s plea against a Kenya ban, saying the government’s commitment to ending the menace is uncompromising.
As part of stepping up efforts to intensify the fight for clean sports in the country and to seal all possible loopholes to restore the integrity of the Kenyan sport, NOC-K has identified and created partnerships that can play a pivotal role to complement existing agencies’ initiatives towards clean sporting.
Such latest move has brought in the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), Kenya Association of Physicians (KAP) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and University of Nairobi (UON) in conducting sensitization sessions for Kenyan healthcare providers and medical practitioners with regards to the anti-doping measures currently in place in sport.
“We will target and deal decisively with the criminals and their syndicates. We must work together to eradicate doping and cheating from athletics and sports in general,” Namwamba said in a statement.
The CS added that the ministry has a good and effective plan to deal with doping, sending a strong warning to the few unethical criminal elements hellbent on soiling the country’s hard-earned premium pedigree as a top athletics nation that prides itself on competing and winning clean.