In Depth

Kenya faces Olympic ban as Wada 'loses patience' over doping

African nation has two months to provide funding and show it is tackling problem or it will be declared non-compliant like Russia

Kenya has been placed on probation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) after it failed to take action to tackle its drugs problems.                  

The news means that days after the country warned it could pull out of the Rio Games on account of the Zika outbreak, another threat to its participation in this year's Games has emerged.

Kenya has been given two months to bring in new legislation and funding to tackle doping or it will be declared non-compliant with Wada, reports the BBC.

The sanction could lead to the African country suffering the same fate as Russia, whose athletes have been banned from international competition over state-sponsored doping and are likely to miss this summer's Olympics.

Since 2011, more than 40 Kenyans have failed drugs tests and 18 of its athletes are currently serving bans. Three officials have also been suspended over corruption claims.

"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," says the BBC.

Legislation has not yet been passed and state funding for testing has also to materialise.

In a statement, Wada said it had made "some progress" with Kenya, whose athletes dominate distance running and topped the 2015 World Championships medals table, but added there was "still a lot of work required".

Kenya "has exhausted Wada's patience" as it waits for £3.5m in funding, says the Daily Telegraph. The country is now "facing the threat of an Olympic ban", it adds.

If Kenya is declared non-compliant, the International Olympic Committee and other event organisers and international federations have the capacity to refuse its athletes to compete.

However, the prospect of an Olympic ban is "slim", claims The Guardian.

"The distinction with Russia is worth stressing," it says. "The Russian Athletics Federation was suspended from international athletics after the country was found guilty of state-sponsored doping. In Kenya's case, Wada’s intervention is about forcing the nation's government to provide the £3.5m needed to fund and staff the fledgling Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya."

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