AK says they will not pick Omanyala
ATHLETICS By Elvince Joshua | April 17th 2021
An adamant Athletics Kenya (AK) has told sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala that he will not be included in the Olympics Games squad.
Omanyala hit the qualifying mark when he posted a national record time of 10.01 in the 100m at the Yabatech Sport Complex in Lagos, Nigeria on March 30. But his Olympic dream is being haunted by the ghosts of doping from an incident that occurred way back in 2017.
Omanyala was handed a 14-month suspension by the Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) for using performance enhancing substance five years ago.
“When it comes to issues doping, you know the conditions that have been set. AK’s policy has been stated and which was supported by the government,” Barnabas Korir, Team Kenya’s General Team Manager to the Olympics emphatically responded to Omanyala’s call for talks as he continues pushing to represent the country in Tokyo.
Though not anchored in any legislation, AK’s position is that anyone found in violation of doping rules will not be allowed to represent the country at international competition.
Omanyala, though, insists that he is still open to dialogue and the former rugby player is also exploring the possibilities of even racing as an independent athlete should he fail to strike a deal with an adamant AK.
But Korir thinks that the University of Nairobi student needs to use proper channels to sort out the issue.
“The most unfortunate thing is that some people are misadvising him to run as an independent athlete. The rules are there on how to apply to run as independent.
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“That cannot happen and you can do whatever you want but at the end of the day, you have to follow the rules governing athletics.
“You cannot compete as an independent athlete when your country is taking part in the Olympics,” Korir, who is also a member of the AK’s executive National office told Standard Sports in an interview.
According to Korir, Omanyala needs to discuss with the federation how to handle the matter.
“I have personally talked to Omanyala and told him to take it easy. Doping issues are a bit sensitive and that is why when we are discussing those issues, it has to be confidential because it is personal. Doping is not like politics where you take on your opponents openly.
“We sympathise with his situation and nobody is against him. Nobody wants to penalise a young man like him. Absolutely none, but he must abide by the rules.”
On the issue of the national record, Korir, who also doubles up as AK-Nairobi Branch Chairman says that AK will have no problem accepting Omanayala’s purported national record once World Athletics ratifies it.
“There are processes that have to be followed before a record is ratified. The moment he ran the purported national record, AK had to ask the Nigerian Federation to confirm and to provide all the prerequisite for that event,” he explained.
“There is a form from World Athletics (WA) that has to be filled by the Nigerian Federation and then sent to WA for them to justify that all standards were met there before the record can be ratified.
“That is the only way we can ratify his record. Once we get the communication from World Athletics we will ratify it.”
Omanyala seems to have won one battle after the WA updated his time on their website, but he will have to do a little more work to convince the local federation.
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