Lord Coe ready to ban Kenyan athletes from Olympics

Lord Coe prepared to ban Kenyan athletes for doping

Lord Coe is ready to ban Kenya's track and field team from the Olympics if the country's athletics federation is declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code.

Kenya missed a deadline last week to prove to Wada it was tackling cheating.

It comes after a spate of positive drugs tests among some of the country's athletes and allegations of corruption.

"We have to be much more proactive," said Coe, president of the sport's world governing body the IAAF.

Coe said he would impose serious sanctions on any nation guilty of attempting to cover up drug-taking.

Kenya is to be placed on a 'watch-list' of nations at risk of breaching Wada's code and could be banned from international competition if non-compliant, as happened with Russia's athletes.

"We know that a disproportionate amount of reputational damage is caused by a relatively few countries," he told BT Sport's The Clare Balding Show.

"If it means pulling them out of World Championships or Olympic Games then we will have to do that.

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"I know the World Anti-Doping Agency has looked very closely at the Kenyan National Anti-Doping Agency. We, of course, monitor that through the IAAF, so that work is ongoing."

On Tuesday, the chief executive of Athletics Kenya said he wanted to step down temporarily amid allegations he asked athletes for bribes to reduce doping bans.

Isaac Mwangi denies wrongdoing but wants to leave his post for 21 days while the claims are investigated by the IAAF.

For several months, Wada has been trying to persuade Kenya to set up an effective national agency so more drug tests can be conducted, but progress has been slow.

The East African country, whose athletes are dominant in distance running, topped the medal table at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with seven gold medals.

Archive: BBC sports editor Dan Roan is told by unnamed athletes that doping is commonplace in Kenya.

But since 2011, more than 40 of its athletes have failed drugs tests.

David Howman, Wada's director general, said "a fully functional" anti-doping agency is "a vital step for a country of Kenya's sporting stature" if it is to "effectively protect clean athletes".

He added that it must be established "at the earliest opportunity".

Meanwhile, former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang has urged Kenya's government to strengthen their fight against doping.

Kipsang, 33, is president of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya and was among 80 athletes who met in Eldoret on Wednesday to formulate an appeal to Kenya's government to fast-track legislation criminalising doping.

He told the Daily Nation newspaper: "We must all step up the fight against doping because if we are banned, Kenya will never be the same again. This is a country which has made its name as an athletics giant."