President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to sign into the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill 2020, complying with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.
This is after the Senate, in a special sitting held Tuesday, concurred with the National Assembly and approved the Bill without amendments, paving the way for Presidential assent.
Senators who contributed to the debate on the Bill, railed at the Ministry of Sports, accusing it of incompetence and acting as if the Wada deadlines did not exist.
Even though the code was adopted in September, the Ministry of Sports only submitted the draft to Parliament on December 7, long after Parliament had gone to Christmas recess.
They however hailed the code as an important milestone in the career of Kenyan athletes arguing that it will guarantee greater success especially for long distance running that Kenya is famed for.
They however took a dig at the agents who they accuse of taking advantage of inexperienced athletes and initiating them into doping for self-gain.
One of the provisions in the Bill, and the Code, that is likely to excite the athletes is one that places the burden of proof to those who accuse Kenyan athletes of using performance enhancing drugs.
Previously, the burden was with the athletes to prove that they were not doping.
The Bill further empowers the Sports Tribunal with the jurisdiction to hear and determine cases on anti-doping rule violations at national and lower level athletes and athlete support personnel; other persons subject to the Anti-Doping Rules and anti-doping rule violations arising from national and lower level events.
In executing its mandate, the Tribunal shall be guided by the Code, the International Standards established under the Code, the 2005 UNESCO Convention Against Doping in Sports, the Sports Act, and the Agency’s Anti-Doping Rules, amongst other legal sources.
However, the Tribunal shall not have jurisdiction over Appeals involving International Level athletes or arising from the participation in International Events or national crimes related to doping.
WADA, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the relevant International Federations will have the right to a second appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) with respect to the appeal decisions of the Tribunal.
The code contains the 2021 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, the summary of major modifications and explanatory notes; and the 2021 Monitoring Programme. The List has been redesigned in order to improve navigation and usability for athletes and their support personnel.
The List is also one of the International Standards that are mandatory for all signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition and which substances are banned in particular sports.
Additional Information: Daily Nation