We have read with disappointment allegations by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario that Kenyans have lost faith in Athletics Kenya due to corruption and doping scandals.
Wario has gone ahead to claim that long-serving leaders and archaic structures at the federation were behind the doping crisis that is threatening the country’s participation in the international competition.
While we agree that some of our officials have been mentioned in the scandals and are currently serving suspension; we would like to state that the CS’s statement is not only irresponsible but also quite unfortunate especially coming from the man who is supposed to be spearheading the fight against doping.
We know the real issue at the moment is the draft from the Anti Doping Agency of Kenya, which doesn’t meet the threshold of the World Anti-Doping Association.
It beats logic when the CS states that Kenyans have lost faith in AK yet we continue to hold crowd pulling events around the country. In any case, AK is the most active federation in the country to-date and we are currently preparing three teams for international assignments in the next one month. These includes Africa cross country in Younde, Cameroon (March 12), World Half Marathon in Cardiff (March 26) and World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA on 17th March to 20th March
We believe the CS will be doing this country a lot of favour by addressing these issues raised by WADA instead of indulging in blame game that might not help at the end of the day. All Kenyans want to know is why the draft was rejected; which are the contentious clauses and how is ADAK sorting out the issue.
Besides, doping is not just an AK issue but a national crisis and that is why ADAK was formed. No member of AK is a member of ADAK and we don’t understand why we should be the subject of his defence.
We feel a lot of energy should be directed towards addressing key areas raised by WADA instead of turning the gun on AK. We all want the same thing—to clean the sport—and we bet there will be no progress if soldiers with similar mission of bringing down an enemy are going to turn the guns on each other.
On the AK election issue; we are guided by our own constitution and we will seek fresh mandate when the time comes. In any case, we have always done that.
Besides, the CS needs to address the ills in his own Ministry instead of attacking federations that have all along been self reliant. The Ministry through the CS need to outline their achievements instead of rubbishing federations that have put this country on the world map. The fact that Kenya topped the world last year at the World athletics Championships means a lot of things are being done right. AK have proved themselves by hosting major events like the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa and the 2010 Africa athletics Championships in Nairobi. With a budget of Ksh 300m for ADAK, we should be already on track towards recovery in as far as doping is concerned. We at AK are willing to support the government in the fight against doping but only if the Sports Minister can adopt a diplomatic stand.
We are trying to do our level best to restore the image and what we need is government’s support and not insults