On Monday the Sports Cabinet Secretary become the first sports minister to visit Riadha House since 2006 when Maina Kamanda made a courtesy call to the country’s athletics governing body.
Amina who was accompanied by Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor Hassan was taken to the Athletics Kenya museum and held consultative meeting with AK President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, chairmen from 16 regions, affiliates and top athletes to enable her understand the structure and the role AK plays.
In his presentation AK President said: “At AK as federation, we look at Governance, integrity and administration and we do all this through documents we have established. We are guided by documents that has gone through a procedure. We use the Kenyan constitution, IAAF constitution because we are an affiliate, African Athletics Confederation (CAA) affiliate that guides us in management of athletics, our own AK constitution is in accordance with sports registrar, we also guided by WADA code regarding doping, and Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK). We are also guided by National Olympics of kenya (NOC-K) constitution, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) documents produced by IAAF on integrity and doping, Kenya Sports Act document, sports registrar regulations”
“Last year, WADA and AIU in collaboration with ADAK presented ‘Project Kenya’ report which says doping in Kenya is “unsophisticated, opportunistic, and uncoordinated and there is no evidence of an institutionalised system. The report was released after a probe on Kenya by WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations Department in collaboration with the ADAK and AIU.
The national running sports body head also appealed to the government to help criminalise doping through government procedures.
“We are appealing to you to help us in the government procedures to ensure that doping is criminalised in order to end this menace,” said Tuwei.
He added: “Another problem we are facing as a federation are the foreigners coming into the country, getting involved in athletics activities thus leaving a damage by the time they leave, and we don’t know what kind of visas they get when they come in. Early this year we managed to register all the coaches and trainers both Kenyans and foreigners.”
The president also weighed in on sports facilities: “We need a proper consultation, because some of the stadiums being put up by the counties are not up to standards. Some tracks are longer than required, no one has consulated AK on how to put them up. Coordination is needed.
“But generally we thank the government for all the support they have accorded the federation for many years. Next year, AK is going to celebrate 70 years, we have come a long way it has not been easy. It has been challenging.”
On her parts CS Amina assured the AK administration of full government support on doping and promised to ensure cheating is eradicated by criminalisation of doping.
“Doping will be minimal, we need put it to the bare minimum, and we need to construct firewalls by monitoring, evaluating and guiding the process of ensuring it is eradicated and ensure the integrity in the system. AK will get full cabinet and parliament support and ensure the bill criminalizing doping is assented by the highest office,” Amina said.
Amina also noted: “It’s unfair to ban an athlete over doping and leaving those who manage and train the said athlete to continue with the illegal activities. We should belief in fairness and justice, I’m putting this on the table, so you tell us, the ministry, whether that’s something you are going to support and drive it by yourself, we need to think seriously and soul search on the matter.”
The CS also promised to look into cash rewards to the retired athletes who managed to represent the country in the golden years.
She also praised the work ADAK is doing in educating sportsmen and women on doping matters and promised the government will enhance its manpower because it’s understaffed.
On matters of athletes switching alliance, the CS said: “Nationality of athletes is something we can work on together but it’s difficult to regulate but it’s also possible to regulate change of allegiance among athletes because sports is regulated all over the world. However, Kenya has bilateral understanding with other countries so it’s something that is difficult to stop but we can ask for prior information so that we are not caught by surprise seeing our athletes competing for other countries.”
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