•AK will wait until after December 22 to decide whether Manang'oi will be barred from representing Kenya in international events
•Manang'oi in a wait-and-see situation as he begins his 2-year ban that ends on December 22, 2021
•He missed three consecutive doping tests in 2019 after three whereabout failures
Athletics Kenya (AK) will not be quick to bar 2017 world 1,500m champion Elijah Manang'oi from representing the county in international events after his 2-year doping ban elapses.
AK vice-president Paul Mutwii said that the federation will sit down with the athlete to explore various options after December 22, 2021 next year.
"Why don't we wait until after the ban ends? That is when we will sit down and explore the range of options available," Mutwii said.
Should Manang'oi be barred, Mutwii added, the 2018 1,500m African champion can transition into road races as an individual competitor.
"He could transition to road races where he could be competing and earning prize money as an individual without necessarily representing the country. There are many others who have done so after their bans ended," he said.
AK and the Ministry of Sports have for long preached a zero-tolerance policy against doping, vowing to bar guilty athletes from ever representing Kenya in international events.
Responding to the possibility of further sanctions from AK, Manang'oi said he would accept whatever decision from AK but was currently focused on serving his ban.
"I was honest about everything I said on Facebook on Saturday. They (AK) haven't communicated to me but I will wait and see. Right now, I just want to serve my ban while preparing for the future," he said.
He is currently training to keep in shape even as his eyes are set on December 22, 2021 — the expiry date of his 2-year ban.
Manang'oi is the latest Kenyan to fall afoul of the whereabout requirement that cost him two years in the cold courtesy of ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
He was accused of being absent from his residence near African Nazarene University, Rongai, where doping control officers had on three occasions gone to take samples from him for testing.
A whereabout violation occurs when an athlete fails to avail themselves for doping test at their specified location — and at a specified time slot — for three consecutive occasions. This constitutes a missed test, which ultimately attracts a doping ban or fine.
This spate of whereabout failures and doping bans has thus prompted AK to intensify its awareness campaigns on this doping rule.
"We have planned a conference in December where this issue was to be one of the major topics. However, we have pushed it until a later date," Mutwii said.