NATION’S DOPING RECORD UNDER SEVERE SCRUTINY
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Kenya is being investigated for breaching the world anti-doping code, WADA said Thursday, and could be declared non-compliant in a matter of weeks. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said an independent compliance review committee will now evaluate Kenya and make a recommendation to WADA’s board. It’s also possible that Kenya could instead be given a deadline and a final chance to honor commitments it made to WADA regarding its anti-doping program. The investigation relates to the Kenyan government’s failure to set up and properly fund a working national anti-doping agency, and also its failure to finalize new anti-doping legislation. “We have not yet received the details nor the assurances we need from Kenya and, therefore, this is now a matter for our independent compliance process,” WADA said in a statement. WADA expects a decision over Kenya’s status in a few weeks. Although being declared noncompliant with the world anti-doping code is unlikely to prevent Kenyan athletes from competing internationally, it would be another embarrassment for the East African country, which is under severe scrutiny for its doping record. Around 40 Kenyan runners have failed doping tests since the failures of the country’s anti-doping program were highlighted in 2012. Senior Kenyan track and field officials have also been accused of corruption and cover-ups related to doping cases. Two Kenyan runners told reporters that the chief executive of Athletics Kenya, the national track and field body, asked them each for a $24,000 bribe to reduce their suspensions after they failed doping tests at last year’s world championships. Athletes Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga told reporters that CEO Isaac Mwangi asked for the payment in an Oct. 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. Also, three other senior officials, Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat, vice president David Okeyo, and former AK treasurer Joseph Kinyua, were suspended for 180 days last November by global body the IAAF pending an investigation. They are being investigated for “potential subversion of the antidoping control process in Kenya” and allegedly embezzling sponsorship money meant for the federation from Nike, the IAAF’s ethics commission said. Okeyo is a member of the IAAF’s governing council.