‘Carry your Own Cross’ IOC tells Kenyan Runners on Doping


It turns out that the combined foot dragging, and last minute approach that Kenya’s government took to resolving the ADAK Bill was not without consequences after all. Kenya’s as yet ‘Non Compliant’ status withe the World Anti Doping Authority means that each and every, track and field competitor will have to be individually cleared by IAAF to participate in the summer Olympics.

More Hurdles in Kenyan Athlete’s path to Olympics (Source: Runblogrun)

In his own words IOC Chief Thomas Bach, while explaining conditions that Kenyan and Russian athletes will have to comply with to feature at the Olympics noted that

 “there were very serious doubts on the ‘presumption of innocence’ in those two countries (Kenya and Russia). Therefore, each athlete coming from these two countries will have to be declared eligible by their respective international federation following an individual procedure and evaluation of the situation. In this individual evaluation, tests from laboratories that are tainted or non-compliant cannot be taken into consideration. The respective international federation will have to take into account other reliable tests, that means international tests, or tests supervised by international authorities.”

That Kenya as a nation is very highly unlikely to be prohibited from competing at the Rio Olympics is a big relief, but the stringent conditions under which this will take place mean that Kenya’s medal hopefuls are not out of the woods yet. With regards to Kenya specific concerns the IOC supremo noted that

“In Kenya, there were administrative issues that are about to be resolved but on top of this we’ve had in the last couple of months a lack of funding and an absence of national testing. So Kenya is considered to be a country where the non-compliance affects the doping controls.”

With the ADAK bill, in its amended form passed after this announcement had been made, one hopes that what Kenya’s world beaters will only have to go through this grueling test of integrity once.

Qutes from IOC Chair sourced from : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2016/06/21/russia-and-kenya-athletes-face-extra-drug-tests-ahead-of-rio-oly/

 

 

Was it all in Vain? Kenya’s ADAK Bill insufficient to escape WADA Sanctions


Over the month of April Kenya’s parliament (both the National Assembly and the Senate), the Ministry of Sports, and the Presidency burned the midnight oil to pass the Anti Doping Authority of Kenya bill, as part of efforts to stave off the dreaded WADA ‘non-compliance’ status.

After its May 2nd meeting, in which this was among several items on the agenda, WADA decided to declare Kenya ‘non-compliant’ anyway. Reason being that the bill that was passed was described as ‘a total mess.’

Considering that two other deadlines had passed before Kenya finally met the third deadline, this decision is more of a shock than it probably should be.

This is a severe blow for the Olympic aspirations of a country, who in ~60 years of representation at the games only has one medal that did not come from track and field (RIP Robert Wangila).

David Rudisha’s 800m title defense could be jeopardized by the folly of others (Source: The UK Guardian Newspaper)

WADA’s ‘non-compliant’ recommendation will now pass to the International Olympic Committee, and the International Association of Athletics Federations, for a final decision on whether or not Kenya’s track and field athletes can show up at the Olympics or not.

If Kenya’s track and field contingent are absent from Rio 2016, then the nation’s  medal hopes will lie with an under-resourced and neglected boxing contingent, the Sevens rugby team, and a Hodge podge of individual practitioners of sports like shooting, archery, swimming etc and (if they make it through the last global qualifier) women’s volleyball.

In short, we will really be up against it

 

UPDATE!  The IAAF has stated that it will not bar Kenya from sending Athletes to the Olympics. Kenya has until the end of the year to rectify the parts of the ADAK bill that were found wanting

Another Deadline to Make (or Miss)


Just a confirmation that Kenya were given one more extension to get the vitally important ADAK bill passed, gazetted and the Anti-Doping Authority off the ground. The bill itself is already being debated on the floor of the house, so Kenya should beta this deadline for once

The compliance of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) was also discussed and the CRC concluded that the current situation was not in compliance with the 2015 Code, since the bill, policy and ADAK rules have not yet been formally adopted. The CRC decided that unless the bill, policy and ADAK rules are formally adopted by 2 May 2016, its recommendation to the WADA Foundation Board will be to declare the ADAK non-compliant. […]

via WADA Independent Compliance Review Committee: April Meeting Update — PLAwYERed

Where Urgency is not in the Dictionary


Kenya’s participation in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro later this year looks to be in doubt once again as Kenya’s has gone a traditional 10 day break, with vital legislation for Anti Doping still pending.

kip_pix
Athletics Kenya Chair Kipchoge Keino (Source: Daily Nation)

Kenya were required by the World Anti Doping Authority to bring our fresh legislation on a new Anti-Doping Authority, that is up to international standards. After the typically Kenyan buck passing between track and field stakeholders, and government  officials on the other. the Anti Doping Authority of Kenya Bill landed on the floor of the house just days before the second deadline for passing the bill (April 5th).

Kenya is already on thin ice, having  missed a February 19th deadline to get this same bill passed, and is in a sense playing catch up, to meet the full setb of compliance issues that stand between Athletics Kenya and a clean bill of health that ill put to rest the fears that Kenya will be going to the Olympics without its world conquering athletes.

Throw in the personal plea of globally renowned Athletics legend, philanthropist and Athletics Kenya chair Kipchoge Keino, and you would think our August house would move mountains to get this one piece of legislation passed? Well maybe they have better things to do than that.

Perhaps the house will break with tradition and get this one bill passed, or they will run the gauntlet of seeing how WADA will react to yet another missed deadline. There really is no hurry in Africa.

 

 

World Indoor Championships Schedule


Augustine Choge is leading Kenya’s delegation to the IAAF World Indoor games starting today in USA.

Augustine Choge at a past Indoor event (Source:writingaboutrunning.com)

Here is the full schedule for the 4 day games, in which most of the finals where Kenya normally shine in are on day three and four.

Hopefully the showing from our men and women will be a glimmer of light in the gloom currently hovering over Athletics Kenya in the twin scandals of corrupt officials and drug abusing runners.

Also one or two of the athletes could use the event to get their name out there in the build up to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro later this year.

A commonwealth games Primer, for y’all


Well they are here, and they kind of snuck up on me this round! The club games are set to start in Glasgow, and as usual Kenya has sent a large contingent of track and field athletes looking to continue the gold medal rush from 2010. Believe it or not Kenya has 8 (yes eight!) representatives in the lawn bowls competition!

Anyway this post will start with the stuff Kenya is more known for and drift towards the not so known stuff. So we start with the track, and field events, and the middle and long distance events. This is what Kenya is widely known for as a sporting house all over the world. To the point everyone from spoof energy drink adverts to the Muppets has played on the ‘Kenyans are good at running’ idea.

apparently… ( source: chzbgr.com)

I digress. The bulk of Kenya’s gold medals at the Club games have come on the back of dominating all the track events from 800 metres to the marathon. With the absence of some of the sprint powerhouses (USA) we have even won the odd medal at the 400 metres events.

This round a lot of the usual suspects will be at the Glasgow event. The headliners are obviously David Rudisha (current world record holder) at the 800m, Silas Kiplagat in the men’s 1500m, as well as Milcah Chemos a perennial force in the women’s steeplechase event.

They lead a host of names who have built a name for themselves among something of a ‘golden generation’ for Kenyan athletics in track events all over the world in the past decade in particular. Did you know that only one non-Kenyan has won a medal of any kind in the men’s steeplechase at the club games since 1994?

In addition to them there are the upcoming talents of Jarius Birech (who has dominated in this year’s diamond league events) and Mercy Cherono.
In the field event, perhaps Julius Yego, the YouTube man could deliver on his immense promise and medal. He has a top 3 finish in diamond league, so I will be keeping an eye on that.

Then there is boxing. Kenya has a tradition in producing high quality of amateur boxers that have scored medals on a regular basis, at commonwealth and other global competitions (RIP Robert Wangila). However with several decades of neglect, even downright cynical exploitation of boxers, the idea of a Kenya boxer, medalling at these games would be more a welcome relief than a serious expectation. This year’s squad features young men who have shown some fight ‘pun intended’ at international competition.

There is lot of expectation (they have a nice hype machine) being placed on Kenya’s rugby sevens squad. Not surprising because of how they have delivered beyond rational expectations on several occasions, against the world’s best on the IRB circuit, but also because they are generally the most well ordered team sport administration in Kenya behind them.

However, whereas, in some vents (LOOKING AT YOU TRACK AND FIELD) the commonwealth games can be said to be a dilution of talent, on the rugby field it’s more like a concentration of the best in the field. New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, England, South Africa, all have very well funded fully professional rugby machinery behind their teams, not to mention the hosts Scotland are no slouches at rugby.

In the Jason Dunford swimming event, Kenya has a host of fresh young talent, who this blogger hopes will be more than just escorting the Dunford men to gold medal glory.

Some months ago a certain South African minister insinuated that Kenya (or countries like Kenya send swimmers out to global competitions to drown in the pool. Now is the chance to tell Hon Mbalula with actions as well as words where he can go put his words.

On to the lesser known events I spoke of ‘fighting’ earlier in this post Kenya will also have representation in the Judo, event, for the first time in 12? Years, there will be Kenyans in the triathlon ands well as in the road and mountain biking events.

Maybe there is another Chris Froome in the making? These events may to the casual (read cynical) fan seem to be excess baggage on the road, but with a bit of vision just being there may be the beginning our nation becoming really good at the global stage. As the good book says, plant both in the morning and in the evening, for you do not know which will produce a harvest (or something like that)

Anyway in wrapping up this post, I want to wish the men and women flying the flag all the best, timely allowances and kits and mostly that the record haul of medals in Delhi 2010 may be surpassed.

#London2012: Picking up the Pieces.


First things first. Despite all the outpouring of grief in the media (old and new) medalwise Kenya’s showing in the just concluded London Olympics is far from being the worst showing Kenya has had at an olympics. 2 golds, 4 silver and 4 bronze actually compares favourably with most of Kenya’s showings at these over the past 2 decades. In fact it is way better than what whe could manage in the Atlanta Olympics of 1996. Perhaps it is the emphatic nature in which several track runners (coming into the games as strong contenders) came up short so spectacularly that did it. Perhaps It’s all the reports of gross incompetence on the part of NOCK officials (see reprint of Elias Makori post), of pool or boxing ring as the case might apply. Perhaps the glory of what happened in Beijing four years ago that caused us as fans to have unrealistic expectations. Maybe it was even a certain Athletics Kenya Honcho declaring Kenya would return with 12 gold medals on National television. All in all, however as good or bad as Kenya’s results at the Olympics were, empirically, the knives are already out and in due course, heads will very likely roll. Right, let get straight into the results, event by event, where Kenya had representatives. Firstly, Athletics (track and field) and the marathon. These events, as usual, delivered all of Kenya’s medals, with the unbeaten streak in the men’s steeple chase continuing into another Olympiad. Ezekiel Kemboi delivered gold and was almost literally on the next plane back to Kenya. Then there was David Rudisha, not only winning the men’s 800m title but breaking his own world record in a final where he pushed the pace so hard he forced 7 of the 8 other competitors in the final to break their own personal best times. Silver medals came from: Abel Kirui and Priscah Jeptoo in the marathon, Sally Kipyego in the womens 10000m, and Vivian Cheruiyot in the womens 5000m. The bronze medalists were Timothy Kitum 800m, Abel Mutai in the steeplechase (both hardly out their teens), Thomas Longosiwa and Vivian Cheruiyot. In the men’s 5k, and women’s 10k respectively. In the shorter track events, Kenya had representation in the 400m flat, and hurdles, and they had a team in the men’s 4x400m relay. None made it into the finals of their respective events and the less we talk about the collision in the men’s relay the better. Kenya’s sole field athlete, Julius Yego in the javelin throw, though finishing 12th, was th first competitor from Africa to feature in the finals of this event. This blogger hopes his example can be in inspiration to several others in the sport right across the continent. Off the track, Kenya had only a handful of entries across the entire spectrum of Olympic sports. There were 2 boxers, one man and one woman. Both were eliminated in the 1st round. How far has this event fallen since Robert Wangila delivered Africa’s first boxing gold in 1988. There were the Dunford brothers in the pool. David, the younger falling in the heats of both the 50m and 100m freestyle, and Jason, coming up short in an extremely difficult butterfly 100m semifinal. Finally there was Elizabeth Andiego who competed in the weightlifting, as a wild card entry. I hope the experience she had will lead her to more success in future events. As far as disappointment goes, it is in the track events, where i was felt most. Kenya did not medal in the 800m women’s race (where we had the defending champ) and the men’s 1500m (where we Kenya’s entries were the 3 fastest athletes in the discipline this year). On top of that there’s the agonizing way gold in both men’s and women’s marathon’s slipped away in the last few kilometres of the races. Factor in the rise of Mo Farah and the return to form of Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar in the long distances, and the result was frustration and disappointment for team Kenya. All in all though much of the fallout over the games will revolve around the middle and long distance races, and that some long overdue changes might be made to the way non-athletes have too much unchecked power over how well the actual competitors can prepare for things like the olympics, my concern is that without genuine competitiveness off the track, Kenya may have already hit their high water mark in terms of Olympic medal hauls. If that is the best measure of Olympics performance.