Wilson Kipsang has warned Kenya “will never be the same again” if athletes from the nation are banned from the Olympic Games this year.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe warned that Kenyan track and field athletes face the threat of being banned from the Rio Games if the country’s athletics federation is deemed non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
WADA last week stated that the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) still has a lot of work to do in order to prove it is conforming to regulations amid allegations made against athletes and officials.
Former marathon world-record holder Kipsang has urged for the government to take action with the Olympics getting underway in less than six months.
“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,” Kipsang, president of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya, told Daily Nation.
“We have done well in the Olympic and World Championships and therefore, we should not miss out complying with the doping directives.
“Since the formation of ADAK, the agency has never been formalised and most importantly given powers to deal with doping. It also needs legislative will from government.”
Russian athletes are currently banned as a result of a doping scandal and Coe warned that competitors from Kenya may suffer the same fate.
“We know that a disproportionate amount of reputational damage is caused by a relatively few countries and we have to be very much more proactive,” Coe told BT Sport’s The Clare Balding Show.
“Yes, if it means pulling them out of World Championships or Olympic Games then we will have to do that.
“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.”
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