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Athletics - 08. April 2016.

Kenya given May 2 deadline to meet anti-doping criteria



Kenya have been given until May 2 to make the necessary changes to its anti-doping measures as the threat of a Rio 2016 ban continues to hover over the African country.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed in February that Kenya's Government had missed an February 11 deadline to establish the appropriate legal framework for the new Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

As a result the issue was referred to the WADA Independent Compliance Review Committee, which met on April 5 to discuss the situation.

It was ruled that current measures in Kenya are not in compliance with the WADA code since a Government bill had not yet been passed with policies and ADAK rules not in place.

A preliminary reading of a bill criminalising doping in sport in Kenya was held last week but there were then delays as the parliament went into recess.

"Unless the bill, policy and ADAK rules are formally adopted by 2 May 2016, the Compliance Review Committee’s recommendation to the WADA Foundation Board will be to declare the ADAK non-compliant," said a WADA statement today.

Kenya is a powerhouse in world athletics - particularly long distance running - but its athletes have increasingly been struck by doping issues.

A non-compliant ruling by WADA would not automatically mean Kenya is suspended from Rio 2016, but a recommendation could be made for such a decision to be made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

This was what happened with Russia last year following WADA's Independent Commission publishing allegations of state-supported doping, with the All-Russia Athletics Federation subsequently suspended by the IAAF.

The Russians remain under threat of missing Rio unless the IAAF lifts this sanction.

WADA's Foundation Board will vote on the Kenyan matter at its next meeting in Montreal on May 12.

Officials from the country expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved yesterday, making claims that WADA were "satisfied" with the progress being made.

Around 40 Kenyans have tested positive for banned drugs since 2012, including three-times Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo, who failed for erythropoietin in 2014.

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