‘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/



New Points System for IAAF Diamond League

The new breakdown is as follows:

1st – 10 points
2nd – 6 points
3rd – 4 points
4th – 3 points
5th – 2 points
6th – 1 point


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.

On Jubilee and the pledges to Kenyan Sports

This post is little late, but be that as it may, here are a bunch of reflections on The Jubilee government’s fulfillment of the pledges it made towards sports in Kenya. On the whole this side of the government has been on the whole less controversy ridden than; say the laptops for class 1 pupils, or the standard gauge railway.

Also unlike in other sectors, many of the pledges actually depend on the competency of bodies that have some independence from government influence, so their success or failure, can not entirely be up to the Jubilee Government. Without much ado, here we go.

First and foremost, a recap of the pledges that Jubilee made on the campaign trail. I cannot claim to recall everything they pledged so I will focus on the flagship promises. These were: the pledge to construct 5 stadia all over the country, a promise to deliver the World Athletics Championships, the Africa Cup of Nations the restoration of the Safari Rally to the World Rally Circuit, and the pledge to build youth development centres in all counties

I’ll start with the pledge to bring all sorts of international competitions in various sports to Kenya. Right of the bat, Kenya’s bid to get the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations was virtually sunk by the Football Kenya Federation, not bothering to actually submit a bid until one month past the deadline.To save face, they went for and got right to host the 2018 CHAN event instead.

Now to actually put together a credible (and I do not mean we somehow survived to the end one piece credible) event. Also I am hoping they give the ‘Dick Berg type ‘sports event promoters’ a wide berth and give us an open, transparent show.

And the Winner in the Tenderpreneurship relay event is…
(From Gadocartoons.net)

Off the football pitch, and on to the athletics track, it turns out, that you sort of have to build up towards hosting the IAAF’s flagship events (like the World Athletics Championships, by cutting your teeth with lesser events. Parable of the coins, he who was faithful with five dinarii shall be put in charge of 5 cities and all that.

So in keeping with that, Kenya will first aim to host the 2017 World Youth Championships. Nairobi’s competition will come from Buenos Aires, and Greensboro city in the USA, we hope the bidding team show some passion to convince the IAAF honchos to gives us the games.

As for the World Rally Championships, the Safari Rally was tossed out because of issues surrounding money guarantees, and tracks being properly closed off from wild animals, traffic etc) and so on. From the government side there has been very little noise, SO FAR, on the actualisation of a bid to restore the Safari rally and from the way the KNRC continues to face issues with stray traffic, pedestrians etc on its domestic rallies, it seems we still have work to do on that end also.

As for the pledge to construct 5 state-of-the-art stadia, there has been much more traction in this area. The sceptic in me would like clarification on just what ‘state-of-the-art’ is supposed to amount to. The most recent noise on that end has been the announcement by sports cabinet secretary Hassan Wario, that construction of these ‘state-of-the-art’ stadia will commence next year. Several County governments, both Jubilee and CORD controlled have done some renovations to their dilapidated municipal stadiums, so there is that

As for the youth centres, I’ll assume that they are also in the pipeline somewhere.

All in all, One year down the line and aside from the AFCON debacle, which with hindsight the sports ministry should have seen coming, its been steady as she goes. I would issue a grade but most of these pledges are mid to long term projects, which will take time to implement.

Pamela Jelimo Mark II?

Starting tomorrow, is the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordinarily Kenya doesn’t send a particularly strong contingent for indoor games, what with their normally being other events in the calendar being considered bigger priorities (see the London 2012 Olympics this time round for example). However, this time round Athletics Kenya have given a slot to one of Kenya’s 6 gold medallists from the last Olympics in Beijing. Pamela Jelimo will be part of Kenya’s contingent of 6? at this year’s indoor event. Since becoming Kenya’s first ever woman olympic gold medallist, things have not good well for Pamela. A number of injuries and coaching changes meant that not many see her as a favourite to defend her crown. Nonetheless, it seems her first sub 2:00 time in long while is proof enough for the honchos at Athletics Kenya to give her a spot in the Istanbul team. Best of luck to her and the rest of our team.

Ready, Set GO

They are almost here, The 17th Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Nairobi. The games will run on the weekend from the 28th of July to the 1st of August at Nyayo Stadium. With most of Kenyas traditional rivals choosing to send full strength squads, this will be a unique opportunity for Kenyans to see first hand the best middle and long distance runners in the world doing what they do best.

Pity then there has been hardly much hullabaloo relating to the event itself then. Aside from the occasional newspaper advert, there has only been the official launch of the tourney mascot. Two weeks to the event and KBC, a listed sponsor on the website, are being very silent on live coverage. In fact, the thing that has made these games so visible is the fact that nobody has been able to use the Nyayo Stadium venue.

Anyways that aside, it looks like Nairobi will be ready to host the biggest Athletics event5 since the 1987 All Africa Games. However, there will be some big name absentees particularly in the 800 metres where South African Caster Semenya and Sudans Abdi Kaki will be missing in action. Nevertheless, there will be World and Olympic Champions featuring in all the track events from 800m onwards.

The question remains will Kenyans come out in numbers to support our athletes, or will other things take priority. After all, unlike with the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, quality is NOT an excuse.