On Monday, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed became the first sports minister to visit Riadha House since 2006, when Maina Kamanda made a courtesy call to the country’s athletics governing body.
The CS was accompanied by Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor Hassan while on a tour of facilities at the Athletics Kenya (AK) headquarters, in Nairobi.
Amina later held a consultative meeting with AK President Jackson Tuwei, chairmen from each of the 16 AK regions, affiliates and top athletes.
“We want to ensure we tackle the doping menace once and for all. We need to have it at the bare minimum as we construct firewalls by monitoring, evaluating and guiding the process of ensuring it is eradicated for good,” said Amina.
“AK will get full cabinet and parliament support and ensure the bill criminalising doping is assented by the highest office,” she added.
“We should believe in fairness and justice. I’m putting this on the table for you to tell us is that’s something you are going to support and drive by yourself.”
“We need to think seriously and search our souls on this matter.”
Amina also said it’s not easy to curtail athletes wishing to switch nationality because Kenya has a bilateral understanding with several countries, which makes it difficult to bar athletes from switching allegiance.
Recently, Kenyan runners have been winning gold for oil-rich countries, the latest being 800m runner Nelly Jepkosgei, who assumed the nationality of Bahrain.
“Nationality of athletes is something we can work on together but it’s difficult to regulate but it’s also possible to regulate change of allegiance among athletes because sports is regulated all over the world,” said Amina.
“Kenya has bilateral understanding with other countries, so it’s difficult to stop but we can ask for prior information so that we are not caught by surprise.”
In his presentation, Tuwei said: “As a federation, we look at governance, integrity and administration and we do all this through documents we have established.”
“We are guided by documents that have gone through a procedure. We use the Kenyan constitution and IAAF constitution because we are their affiliate. We are also guided by the WADA code regarding doping, and Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK),” added Tuwei.
The national running sports body head also appealed to the government to help criminalise doping through government procedures.