The government is working on introducing tougher anti-doping laws Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohammed has disclosed.
Amina said that her ministry’s team led by Juma Ongeti and Rose Wacuka and that from Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) were working on the document that will then be presented to Parliament for debate in the next two months.
“When the document is ready, they will bring it to us and we shall do what is required. It’s about the image of our country and we don’t want a few athletes to dent it,” said Amina.
Amina said the time was right to act decisively and save the upcoming generation of athletes from unscrupulous athletes, managers, coaches and doctors who are influencing them to use banned performance enhancing substances.
“We want our athletes to train and compete in a clean environment devoid of doping scandals,” said Amina.
She noted that doping cases in Kenya were on the rise necessitating a more drastic approach to deal with the vice.
“We want anybody engaged in these illegal activities to be captured in that framework. The conversation is on and we want to ensure that all take responsibility from coaches, managers, doctors and pharmacists involved.”
Amina noted that 10 Kenyan athletes have already been flagged this year for various doping offences.
“We can’t afford this when some are young athletes. We are afraid more will be lured into use of these substances.”
Amina was speaking after presiding over the distribution of food and cash to Nairobi Region’s camp for the World Under-20 Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday.
World Under-20 Championships that was due for July 7-12 in Nairobi was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amina, accompanied by Chief Administrate Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Hassan Noor Hassan and Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund chairman, Jack Tuwei, oversaw the distribution of food donated by National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) to former international sportsmen and women.
The current Anti-Doping laws only prescribes fines between Sh1 million and Sh3 million for athletes personnel or support staff who engage in doping activities. Alternatively, they face jail terms of up to three years if they fail to pay.
After serving their mandatory four-year ban, athletes are required to pay up to Sh1 million in fine.