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National Olympic Committee of Kenya: Kenya risks ban after anti-doping work stalls

WEIRD NEWS
By -GILBERT WANDERA | February 5th 2014

By GILBERT WANDERA

Nock President Kipchoge Keino.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) has cautioned that local athletes may be barred from major championships if the government’s Anti-Doping Probe Committee fails to deliver a report in time to the relevant authorities.

Kipchoge Keino, Nock President, said work of the committee is too important to stall and wants the government to provide money and facilitate the committee to finish its work.

The 12-member committee, which is chaired by Prof. Moni Wekesa, had cautioned that their investigations into rising doping cases in the country may stall due to lack of funds. The government only provided Sh4.5 million against a budgetary requirement of Sh18 million.

“I was made aware of the situation last month and I even offered to get money to give to the task force but unfortunately most Nock officials were away and so we could not get authorisation to release the funds.

“As Nock we understand that the work of this task force is very crucial and must be completed otherwise our athletes could be barred from taking part in major events in future.

“We are asking the government and members of the committee to find a way forward and complete their work within the stipulated time frame so that this report can be handed to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” said Keino.

Athletics Kenya Vice Chairman David Okeyo said the report of the task force is very important as a baseline to prove local athletes are not involved in doping.

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“It is a big surprise for us that the committee’s work has stalled. The Task Force report was meant to prove that Kenyan athletes are clean. Without it, our athletes are in danger of being black-listed from taking part in major events,” said Okeyo.

Wekesa said efforts to get more money from the government have proved futile and they may abandon their work.

“Our mandate was to last for 60 days but we have done just 23 days and presented a preliminary report to the government. We have also asked them to release more money to us so we can complete the remaining work.

“So far we have had two meetings with the principal secretary in the Ministry of Sports who has categorically stated that there is no more money for us. Without increasing our allocation it will be almost impossible to go on with the work,” he said.

Wekesa said the consequences of them not finishing their work will be grave.

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