Athletics Authorities Extend Bans On Kenya Officials
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to extend the bans on Kenya officials who have allegedly been involved in subverting anti-doping processes in the country.
The three Kenyan officials in question are Isaiah Kiplagat, David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua. They were banned for six months on November 30, 2015, but the world athletics authority has decided to extend that suspension from activities related to the sport until the end of November this year.
Sharad Rao of the ethics board was appointed to investigate the trio, and has opted to extend their ban. He explained the circumstances with regards to the continued ban on Kenya officials, according to Citizen Digital.
“The main reason why their suspension was extended is because we are not ready. This is not due to doping cover-up but it’s due to other issues that on Qatar and Nike,” Rao said.
“We are still waiting to hear from Qatar Athletics Federation, they have not yet responded, we are also investigating payments made by Nike to find out if the funds were diverted and we are currently analysing the bank accounts, bank statements and doing a few interviews,” he revealed.
“There also a few key witnesses we still have to interview that were not available for one reason or another. So by the time the suspension expired that was a few days ago (March 29) we were not through,” he added.
According to SuperSport, the three have denied any wrongdoing. “I have received their formal responses denying all allegations against them,” Rao said.
Kenya Officials Banned Following Doping Crisis
Kenya is a nation known for their athletic prowess, especially in the middle and long-distance events, but a wide-spread doping scandal has soured the once excellent reputation enjoyed by the East African nation.
More than 40 Kenyan athletes have been banned for doping by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Title holder of the Chicago and Boston Marathon, Rita Jeptoo, 400 meter runner Joyce Zakari and renowned road runner Mathew Kisorio are all implicated for failing doping tests.
In February Athletics Kenya (AK) chief executive officer, Isaac Mwangi, was banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations Ethics commission for six months concerning allegations of interference in anti-doping investigations regarding Kenyan athletics since last year.
His suspension is set to end in August, but may yet be extended at the discretion of the ethics board.
Olympics At Risk For Kenya
Kenya have already missed two deadlines in February and April imposed on them for the purposes of organising their anti-doping efforts to a sufficient level. At the World Anti-Doping Agency’s board meeting in Montreal on May 12 the proposed changes to the anti-doping law from Kenyan officials was rejected.
The Kenyan athletes risk missing out on the 2016 Olympics in Rio later in the year if they do not show the required efforts being made to eradicate the sport of doping.
According to IBTimes, the government is desperately trying to push through further changes to the anti-doping law in order to meet the requirements set out by the global anti-doping watchdog.