Kenya placed under ‘critical care’ in doping by IAAF

Kenya will wake up to the news that its among the five countries placed under ‘critical care’ by world athletics governing body, IAAF meaning the nation’s track and field athletes are a stone throw away from an international ban that could bar them from the August 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

The 203rd IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco chaired by President, Lord Sebastian Coe placed Kenya among the nations on red alert concerning their national anti-doping programmes with European powerhouse Russia having their international ban extended putting their athletes in real danger of missing the Olympics altogether having not satisfied conditions for re-admission to the athletics family.

“The IAAF is implementing an action plan to monitor compliance to IAAF Rule 30.6 with respect to the federations of Ethiopia, Morocco, Belarus, Kenya and Ukraine.

“Morocco and Ethiopia both need to appoint an anti-doping coordinator and, as a matter of urgency, establish a national testing programme.

“Belarus, Kenya and Ukraine have been put on an IAAF monitoring list for 2016 to ensure their national anti-doping programmes are significantly strengthened to ensure their journey to compliance to Rule 30.6 is completed by the end of the year,” a statement following Day Two of the Council meeting that concluded Friday evening in Monaco outlined.

“The IAAF is taking control of the fight against doping facing the sport, discussing the issues openly and working with the affected countries to resolve them. No sanctions have been imposed but clear recommendations have been made to those five countries so they understand clearly the actions they must take,” Lord Coe was quoted saying.

Kenya has a revised April 5 deadline to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code with enactment of laws to battle the vice that has seen 40 athletes from the country banned for doping violations since 2012 and four key local federation’s top bosses, including IAAF Council Member, David Okeyo, currently suspended from office for charges relating to corruption and crucially, subverting anti-doping procedures by demanding bribes to limit sanctions.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president, Isaiah Kiplagat and former treasurer, Joseph Kinyua were provisionally banned from the sport for 180 days last November alongside Okeyo whilst Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Mwangi who was appointed three years ago received a similar sanction last month.

On Russia who were banned from international competition last December, the IAAF Council was not convinced they have measures in place to tackle systematic doping in the country with another explosive German TV, ARD expose prepared by Hajo Seppelt that aired last weekend claiming the former Soviet Union flagship had done little to deter those accused of abbeting the vice, including coaches training athletes who have tested positive.

-Russia taskforce-

Russia still violating IAAF doping rules, ARD exposes. PHOTO/OmniSport
Russia still violating IAAF doping rules, ARD exposes. PHOTO/OmniSport

“Rune Andersen, the independent chair of the IAAF Taskforce which is monitoring Russia’s compliance to the verification criteria for the re-entry of Russia to international competition, gave his update to Council. There has been a lot of communication between the Taskforce and their Russian delegates in person and via email.

“Working with commitment and professionalism, the Russian delegates have made significant progress towards meeting many of the Verification Criteria established by IAAF Council. This has included changing the Russian federation president and council, taking measures to exclude Dr Portugalov, Mr Melnikov and Mr Chegin from the sport, and developing anti-doping educational programmes and other initiatives.

“However, the view of the Taskforce is that there is significant work still to be done to satisfy the Reinstatement Conditions and so RusAF should not be reinstated to membership at this stage. The Council accepted the recommendation and has asked the Taskforce to continue to report to the Council when it next meets and to the President in between meetings,” the statement added.

“Council asked the Taskforce to consider the request of Yuliya Stepanova to be ruled eligible for international competition, independently of the status of the Russian athletics federation, and to report back with a recommendation, hopefully in early May,” the major decision making organ of the world body recommended.

-Far reaching reforms-

The international doping crisis has prompted the IAAF to re-model itself to stem the sponsors’ flight with the Council outlining its proposals for change to enable it meet demands for a sport that is reeling from wave after wave of damning reports, more recently the charge of nine Ethiopian athletes failing drug tests.

“Lord Paul Deighton delivered his financial review. A number of recommendations were agreed, including immediate fixes around delegated authorities and financial checks and balances. A comprehensive root and branch review of all financial controls and wider corporate governance is now in place.

“The IAAF’s review of Ethical Compliance Reforms has resulted in an agreement to set up an ethical compliance group and recruit an ethical compliance officer. The recommendations of the Governance Reform Working Group were approved. In that respect, a timetable for constitutional change was agreed which will lead to an IAAF Congress being held in Monaco in either late November or early December of this year,” the statement .