The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) ruling that Kenya was non-compliant reflects IAAF concerns about the country’s level of commitment to anti-doping at the national level, according to track and field’s world governing body.
Kenya was left facing a potential ban from August’s Rio Olympics after WADA ruled the athletics powerhouse non-compliant on Thursday.
“WADA’s decision to declare the new Kenyan NADO non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for failing to introduce the relevant legislation by the stipulated deadline is a further reflection of the IAAF’s concerns about the level of commitment to anti-doping at the national level in Kenya,” the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement.
“It was as a result of such concerns that in March 2016 the IAAF Council placed Athletics Kenya on a monitoring list to ensure that its national anti-doping programme is significantly strengthened by the end of the current year.”
The IAAF confirmed that during the monitoring process, “Kenyan athletes remain eligible to compete nationally and internationally”.
“The IAAF has continued to test elite Kenyan athletes in and out-of-competition throughout 2016,” the body said.
Kenya’s elite athletes are the most tested athletes of any country by the IAAF.
Since October 1, 2015, 621 tests have been carried out by the IAAF on Kenyan athletes, 279 in-competition and 342 out of competition.
“As far as Kenya’s participation is concerned across all sports at the Olympic Games in Rio, the IAAF notes that WADA has referred its decision on non-compliance to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UNESCO for their consideration and action,” the IAAF said.
WADA said Thursday that a new Kenyan anti-doping law drafted in joint consultation was passed last month, but on Thursday the agency said “inconsistencies” meant it fell short of strict international standards and declared Kenya “non-compliant with immediate effect.”
Kenya must now amend the legislation if it hopes to avoid exclusion of its world-beating distance runners from this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.