National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei has urged President William Ruto to transfer the Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) from the Sports Ministry to Health.
Speaking at a church event attended by the Head of State in Elgeyo Marakwet on Sunday, Shollei argued that the agency, which is domiciled at the CS Ababu Namwamba-led Ministry, cannot be expected to oversight the same Ministry.
Instead, she explained that ADAK could do a better job overseeing the Sports Ministry while under CS Susan Nakhumicha’s Health Ministry.
Boss further noted that the change would get the country out of the radar of World Athletics which has set its sights on Kenya over the prevalence of doping cases within the country.
A photo of Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba
She further accused outsiders of importing doping drugs and giving them to athletes training at numerous camps in Iten, a situation she pleaded with the Head of State to stamp out.
“We have training camps here but rogue dealers come in from elsewhere with drugs which they give to our athletes. When it comes to doping, the security teams in this country know about it. Recently, we lost four athletes,” stated Boss.
“The most important thing you can help Iten with is ensuring that Anti-Doping Agency Kenya is moved from the Sports Ministry to the Ministry of Health because ADAK cannot oversight the Sports Ministry yet it is being domiciled under the same Ministry. That is why Kenya is being blacklisted as a doping area.”
The agency was formed to advise the Government on all relevant matters relating to anti-doping, ensure the enforcement of the regulations made by the Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as undertake doping control.
In the last year alone, several athletes from Kenya received doping bans spanning varied timespans. For instance, Michael Njenga Kunyuga was handed an 8-year ban in November last year.
A month earlier, long-distance runner Titus Ekiru was also slapped with a 10-year ban.
In five years, it is estimated that more than 70 athletes were handed the ban further affecting Kenya’s brand name as an athletics country.
Overall, World Athletics has named Kenya as having the highest risk for doping alongside Belarus, Ethiopia, and Ukraine.
A photo of Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.