Drama as athletes storm Athletics Kenya offices over welfare, doping
There was drama at Riadha House Monday after a section of athletes blocked Athletics Kenya staff and the executive committee from accessing the premises.
The athletes, around 20 of them, claim that Athletics Kenya has failed in its mandate to address the athletes’ welfare as well as the issue of doping.
Elite and established athletes were, however, conspicuously missing as the group held aloft banners calling for the resignation of Isaiah Kiplagat and David Okeyo.
The Athletics Kenya executive committee officials, who were expected to have a meeting to deliberate on an array of issues, were forced to wait outside the premises with no clear way forward as the protesting athletes held fort.
This comes just days after the Cabinet approved the immediate establishment of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya.
During a meeting held in State House, Nairobi, the Cabinet said the objective of the Kenya Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) would be to carry out doping control in the country, promote the integrity of drug-free sports in the country, oversee the prosecution of Anti-Doping cases, promote values, information and preventive work aimed at fighting doping as well as develop and execute Anti-Doping rules and regulations.
The agency will advise the Government on all relevant matters pertaining to Anti-doping, co-operate with the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and any other anti-doping organization in carrying out anti-doping activities in Kenya and execute the enforcement of the Kenya Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations as shall be approved by WADA from time to time.
The agency will also liaise with other government agencies in eradicating the use and abuse of performance enhancing substances amongst sports persons and promote the integrity of a drug-free sport.
The establishment of the Agency is in line with the resolutions reached at the 33rd Session of the General Conference of UNESCO on eliminating doping in sports, where State parties committed themselves to the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC).
During the Conference, Kenya was nominated to host the Africa Zone V Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO).
The main objectives of establishing RADO was to help the nine member countries namely Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to develop anti-doping programmes that are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC).
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