Kenya on brink of Wada non-compliance as deadline looms

By Dan RoanBBC sports editor
Asbel Kiprop and Elijah Motonei Manangoi of Kenya at the 2015 World Championships
Kenya dominates distance running and was top of the medal table at the 2015 World Championships

Kenya is set to miss another World Anti-Doping Agency deadline, moving it closer to a possible Rio Olympics ban.

Wada'sexternal-link compliance review committee meets in Montreal on Tuesday and is expected to recommend the East African country is declared non-compliant.

The organisation's board is then expected to approve the move on 12 May.

As revealed by BBC Sport, Kenya failed to meet a deadline on 11 February to pass a law establishing a new national anti-doping agency.

Wada then placed it on a 'watch-list' of nations at risk of breaching its code and gave it until 5 April to show it was tackling cheating in sport.

Kenyan lawmakers have held a preliminary reading of a bill criminalising sports doping, but two further hearings and presidential assent are still required.

The country's parliament went on a month-long recess last week without approving the legislation and extra funding, ensuring this latest deadline will be missed.

However, Wada has indicated it will still consider any information provided to its board before that 12 May meeting.

Spokesman Ben Nichols told BBC World Service Sport on Tuesday: "I am sure that if information is provided, that will still get reviewed and will be part and parcel of any subsequent decision made.

"But today was very much the day they were given and that's the target we all set out. It's vital that an agency is up and running and fully functional in Kenya as soon as possible."

Despite missing the deadline to pass new legislation, Athletics Kenya acting president Jackson Tuwei believes the organisation has done enough to avoid serious sanctions, including a possible international ban.

"The government has forwarded a report to Wada to show the progress that has been done in complying with the Wada regulations. I'm also aware they have accepted the documents and are satisfied with the progress," he told reporters in Nairobi.

Once a country is declared Wada non-compliant, the International Olympic Committee - as well as international federations like the IAAF, athletics' world governing body - have the right to ban it from international competition.

With just four months to go before the Rio Olympics start, Russian athletes remain banned after the IAAF suspended the country over systemic doping last year. IAAF president Lord Coe has said he is ready to ban Kenya too if it is declared Wada non-compliant.

Kenya is dominant at distance running and topped the medal table at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with seven gold medals.

But the country has become mired in doping and bribery allegations.

Since 2011, more than 40 of its athletes have failed drugs tests. Three senior officials at governing body Kenya Athletics have also been suspended following accusations they were involved in corruption linked to Doha's successful bid for the 2019 World Championships.

The officials and the Qatar campaign team deny any wrongdoing.

In February, the Kenyan government had told the BBC it was taking the threat of doping "very seriously" and has said its newly established national anti-doping organisation would soon be operational.