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IAAF suspends AK chief as Kalkaba rebuffs call to ban Kenya

IAAF suspends AK chief as Kalkaba rebuffs call to ban Kenya
Suspended Chief Executive Officer Isaac Mwangi.
PS Executive Committee member

The track and field governing body, IAAF cracked the whip yet again on Kenya provisionally suspending the Chief Executive Officer Isaac Mwangi, for potential subversion of the anti doping control process. 

The announcement by the Ethics Board came as the IAAF vice president Malboum Kalkaba allayed fears that Kenya could miss out on the Olympic Games for failing to meet conditions set by the World Anti Doping Agency, WADA on its drug testing measures.

Mwangi has been provisionally suspended by the IAAF ethics board headed by Michael Beloff, following bribery claims. 

Last week Mwangi sought administrative leave to allow for a ‘conclusive’ probe as Anti Doping Agency of Kenya, ADAK confirmed that they had launched investigations following claims from two suspended sprinters that he had asked each of them Ksh. 2 400 000 ($24,000) in exchange for more lenient doping sanctions.

“Mr Mwangi is provisionally suspended from any office or position in either Athletics Kenya or the IAAF which he presently holds and is precluded from assuming any new office or position in either organisation for a period of 180 days starting on 22 February 2016, pending investigation of a complaint made against him and information that the IAAF Ethics Board has seen,” read part of the statement from the Ethics Board.

“The Chairman of the Ethics Board has imposed this Order for Provisional suspension having carefully considered the information referred to the Ethics Board, which discloses a prima facie case, that is a case warranting investigation, against Mr. Mwangi in relation to potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya.” 

As was the case with the three other suspended officials of the federation the president Isaiah Kiplagat, Vice president David Okeyo and former treasurer James Kinyua who are being probed over corruption and alleged doping cover-ups, Sharad Rao, the Kenyan member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and of the Code of Conduct Commission of the International Cricket Council will lead the inquiry. 

Joyce Sakari (400m) and Franciska Koki (400m hurdles) failed drug tests at the world championships in Beijing last August and are currently serving four-year bans. 

They tested positive for Furosemide, a masking agent. In an interview with Associated Press the two runners claimed that the CEO had asked each of them for money to reduce their suspensions. 

Mwangi has denied the allegations and hopes investigations will vindicate him. 

But there was an unusual cheery atmosphere back in Nairobi a few hours before the announcement at Riadha house. 

No systematic doping in Kenya, Kalkaba

Cameroonian Kalkaba, the IAAF Vice president who also heads the continental sport said Kenya was facing an undue pressure on its anti doping measures.

“Africa doesn’t have a laboratory to make some of these substances. Africa doesn’t have the knowhow,” said Kalkaba as he equated the Kenyan doping scandal and that of Russia. 

Kalkaba insisted that the warning that Kenya could miss out on the 2016 Olympics was unjustified since doping in Kenya and Africa is not systematic as was the case with Russia. 

“Doping should not be a decision against a country but an individual athlete. Athletes found guilty should be sanctioned but there is no need to ban all, even the clean,” he stressed, a conflicting stand to president Sebastian Coe, who has maintained that the world body would not hesitate to ban Kenya for non compliance. 

Kalkaba was en-route to Monaco where he will attend an Executive council meeting. He will brief the IAAF top organ on ADAK after meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Sports Dr. Hassan Wario, National Olympics Committee of Kenya Boss Dr. Kipchoge Keino and AK officials.

“I am here to help Kenya if there is need. We must consider the efforts by the government and the federation and help them reach expectations. After meeting with the Minister I can say that the government is committed to fight doping and all that is needed is to support the strategy,” he said. 

Kalkaba also met the Local Organizing Committee for the IAAF under-18 world championships and dispelled any concerns that that the event will not be hosted in Nairobi over security concerns or logistical delays.

2017 IAAF Youth Championships to stay in Kenya 

There have been fears internally that the government had not released the prerequisite budget to startup the necessary renovations and preparations. Then there are damning security concerns. 

Just last week the British Government issued travel advisory warning travels to certain parts of the country as there was a ‘high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping’. 

The threat is linked to Militant group Al Shabaab who have been carrying out attacks over the last four years following Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. Warnings that could impact on the country’s hosting of the championships next July. 

“There is no country that doesn’t have a security challenge, it is a global problem. When I go to Monaco for the meeting, I will convince my colleagues to keep the event in Kenya. “I will explain the efforts being made by the government since we must support such strategies in order to reach our expectations. I will convince them that Kenya is ready,” he assured.


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