A major announcement regarding the status of doping in the country is set to be made Thursday evening at Trade Mark Hotel in Nairobi.
A joint World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) and Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) press conference will reveal the current status after a study that has been undertaken in the country over the last two years.
Wada, Adak and AIU, an arm of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), engaged its top official in a highly top-secret project named “Kenya Project Taskforce” to carry out research on doping and other anti-doping programmes and initiatives in the country.
Wada’s Director of Intelligence and Investigations, Gunter Younger, AIU head Brett Clothier and Adak CEO Japhter Rugut are expected to jointly address journalists.
“The project is the first of its kind by Wada, Adak and IAAF that has been going on for two years and I think we shall be having some interesting disclosure on the state of doping in the country and the world also,” said a high placed source at Adak that requested anonymity.
The session comes at a time when there are increasingly high cases of doping especially among Kenyan athletes.
It also comes hot on the heels of Wada having recently cleared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada), amid much controversy, to resume its work after three years of suspension following accusations of state-sanctioned doping.
In its executive committee meeting last Thursday in Seychelles, Wada argued that Rusada had warmed its way back into amenability by meeting 29 of the 31 requirements set on the compliance road map.
Wada head, Sir Craig Reedie, maintained that this was sufficient enough to trust the Moscow authorities.
But his agency’s decision met with stinging criticism from athletes and various sporting bodies, including the IAAF who feel Russia still fall short.
“The progress against the reinstatement criteria has been overseen by the Independent Taskforce, chaired by Rune Andersen and including members of the IAAF Council,” said a statement from IAAF.
The statement said that Andersen and his task force will review the decision made by WADA and the conditions set by Wada over the next few weeks and check RusAF progress on other criteria still outstanding.
Some of the recent high profile doping cases in the last three months have involved three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, world 800m bronze medallist Kipyegon Bett and Milano Marathon champion Lucy Kabuu.
It also comes at a time when Wada has picked on Nairobi-based Lancet Group of Laboratories East Africa as the new centre for Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) blood analysis in the region.
The laboratory that will operate as Pathologists Lancet Kenya will not only conduct Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) blood analysis in the region alone but other neighbouring countries where it was difficult to collect blood samples in the past.
Lancet started its operation in early September 2018, in Nairobi and will perform blood analyses to support the AIU’s ABP programme as well as other anti-doping programmes in line with Adak’s mandate.