Kenya in race against time to pass anti-doping Bill

Tuesday March 8 2016

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. Muturi on March 8, 2016 directed the Labour and Social Welfare Committee to meet and speed up a proposed law that is key to Kenya’s participation at the Olympics this year. PHOTO | FILE |

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. Muturi on March 8, 2016 directed the Labour and Social Welfare Committee to meet and speed up a proposed law that is key to Kenya’s participation at the Olympics this year. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has directed the Labour and Social Welfare Committee to meet on Thursday and speed up a proposed law that is key to Kenya’s participation at the Olympics this year.

Mr Muturi gave the directive after Cherangany MP Wesley Korir spoke of his frustrations in his efforts to get the committee listen to his proposals on the Anti-Doping Bill, which he says he has drafted.

Mr Korir said his three attempts to meet the committee chaired by Matungu MP David Were had failed as there was no quorum the three times they held meetings. The quorum of the 29-member committee is nine. This led the Speaker to ask Majority Whip Katoo ole Metito, his deputy Benjamin Washiali as well as their counterparts in the Minority, Thomas Mwadeghu and Chris Wamalwa, to take action.

“You must ensure that that committee meets this Thursday at 11 a.m and listen to the views that the Honourable Wesley Korir and other stakeholders like himself may have so that we can have the proposal being fast tracked,” he ordered.

He said that with Kenyan athletes risking being barred from international competitions, the committee needed to get down to work faster than it has been doing. “If any committee doesn’t sit, then we’ll make other orders regarding the composition of that committee,” he added.

Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, who is a member of the committee, said he is also frustrated by the inaction of his team especially because there are a lot of athletes from his constituency.

“When I hear that the issue of anti-doping has become a problem in this country, I support that we need to put measures in place to protect our boys and girls who are putting their careers in sport,” said Mr Serem.

Last month, Kenya was asked to comply with World Anti-Doping Agency rules by April 5 after the government failed to comply with an earlier deadline.

The global organisation had asked Kenya to do that by February 11 and had received verbal assurances that an Anti-Doping Agency had been established.

Wada was not satisfied with the draft Bill, policy and regulations submitted by Kenya as they were not in line with its code. Its independent compliance review committee is set to review the matter on April 5.

More than 40 Kenyan athletes have been suspended for doping over the past two years and the country risks being banned from the Olympics set for August year in Rio de Janeiro.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said at the First Lady’s Half Marathon last Sunday he was confident Kenya would beat the April 5 deadline.