Kenya said on Saturday it will pass a legislation to criminalise doping offense es in September.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, during a meeting with veteran athletes said they are working closely with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) to present to parliament for debate, a bill that will see offenders serve jail terms as the country intensifies its fight against the vice.
“We are working on the document and hopefully it will be ready in two months. ADAK will bring the document to us to do what is required. It’s about the image of our country. Kenya is a sports giant and we want to continue winning clean and therefore we don’t want a few people to tarnish our reputation on the global scene by doping,” Mohamed said.
With Kenya set to host the World Under-20 Championships in 2021, Mohamed said they need to send the strongest message in the fight against doping so that the up and coming young runners will not be tempted to cheat and blemish the country’s important international competition in Nairobi.
“We have to warn unscrupulous managers, coaches and doctors not to take advantage of our athletes. We want a clean environment for our athletes to compete in knowing they will not be tempted to dope,” Mohamed said.
The sports ministry has taken a cautionary step after the country’s doping cases increased sharply in the last five years.
Over 60 athletes from Kenya, including Olympic champions Asbel Kiprop, Jemimah Sumgong, and former Boston marathon Champion Rita Jeptoo, have tested positive for doping.