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November 20, 2018

Move to categorise Kenya as at high risk of doping not punitive - AK

Athletes take part in 5,000om race during AK Nationals Trials on June 22 2018
Athletes take part in 5,000om race during AK Nationals Trials on June 22 2018 /OLIVER MORGAN

Athletics Kenya (AK) have dismissed claims that the current move to rank in country in Category ‘A’ which includes members at high risk of doping is meant to punish them.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine currently constitute the current watchlist of Category ‘A’, which includes the members most at risk of doping
Speaking yesterday, AK executive member, Barnaba Korir, said the ranking itself was in consultation with AK and is not meant to be punitive. “ In facct the move is aimed at assisting the federation in fighting the menace.”
He said the ranking is meant to be used to allocate more resources to federations with high risks of doping in a bid to support their efforts in fighting the menace.
He said contrary to claims, the regulations now gives AK more powers and responsibilities in handling the doping matters.
He added: “Initially, AK was to assume the responsibilities of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) but after the meeting with AIU in Finland, it was agreed that legislation already passed giving Adak the mandate remains so but with federation’s  role has been enhanced.The rules adopted are therefore not punitive but will enable AK to work hand in hand with AIU, Adak and Wada,” added Korir.
Meanwhile, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has welcomed new anti-doping regulations in the sport that put greater responsibility on national federations.
Following an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council meeting, national federations will be divided into three categories with differing obligations based on their level of success and the perceived risk of doping.
“For too long the strict requirements of the anti-doping rules have fallen largely onto athletes,” AIU chairman David Howman said in a statement.
“The IAAF Council should be congratulated for adopting innovative new rules that also make all of its member federations accountable on anti-doping matters. This will help ensure lasting and meaningful change in athletics.”
The doping scandal involving Russian athletes, which saw the country’s track and field team banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics, has cast a long and enduring shadow over athletics.
The AIU was set up a year ago as part of the IAAF’s effort to separate itself from anti-doping and corruption and rebuild athlete and fan confidence in the sport.
The AIU first raised the idea of the new rules with the IAAF council in November and after discussions with all stakeholders recommended the amendments at this week’s meeting in Buenos Aires.
Athletes from those countries will have to undergo at least three out-of-competition doping tests in the 10 months prior to a world championships or Olympics.
The power to categorise members into one of three groups will rest with the AIU board and the new rules will come into effect from 2019, a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

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