Kenya says extra drug tests ahead of Rio Olympics discriminatory
Nairobi, June 24 (IANS) Kenyan athletics authorities have questioned the proposed stringent testing ahead of the Rio Olympic Games, terming the move as discriminatory.
Athletics Kenya (AK) Senior Vice-President Paul Mutwii on Thursday said they have no objection with the latest move from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) so long as the same will be applicable to all athletes, but it would be an act of prejudice if it is applied selectively, reports Xinhua.
“Singling out individual countries for extra tests is a discriminative idea and, therefore, unacceptable. We will only allow it if it will be applied across board to include all athletes,” Mutwii told Xinhua new agency in Nairobi.
“We must be convinced that the new regulations will be for the benefit of all athletes, otherwise we find it intimidating and it will affect the performance of our athletes during the Games.”
The IOC has imposed stringent regulations that both Russian and Kenyan athletes will have to pass a series of extra doping checks to be declared eligible to take part in the Games.
The East African nation has been facing the threat of an Olympic ban after moving to the brink of being put on probation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over its failure to get to grips with its drugs problem.
The country was given a window by WADA to prove it was tackling cheating in athletics before being placed on a watch-list of nations at risk of being in breach of the agency’s code.
Failure to confront its issues would see Kenya declared non-compliant with the code, something that has already led top Russia’s track and field athletes being banned from competing.