Kenya is banking on expanding the anti-doping laboratory as athletes prepare for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic

  • Kenya Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed has confirmed that the increased budgetary allocation to sports will be used to fund an expansive anti-doping laboratory in Nairobi, which will accommodate more tests.

Speaking to reporters after touring the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), Amina said that part of the Sh14 billion government budget funds will be used to stage the three international competitions planned for Kenya in the 2020/21 season.

She also revealed that the funds will be used to prepare the country’s team for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games and other international competitions as the country set to bounce from the pandemic COVID-19 effects.

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Several world events were and are scheduled to be held in Kenya. The country is to stage the World Athletics Continental Tour series this September, the 2021 WRC Safari Rally, and the postponed World Athletics U-20 Championship, which had been due to be held in Nairobi this July.

With over 60 athletes suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for doping-related offenses in the last five years, Kenya has intensified its drug testing procedures and seems committed to putting more resources on the same.

“I paid a courtesy call on the ADAK and affirmed the provision of the requisite financing to the agency and also evaluated priority projects such as the expansion of the anti-doping laboratory in Nairobi to accommodate more tests,” Mohamed said.

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Ambassador Amina has stood with athletes during this hard time as Kenya’s government through the sports ministry has introduced a stimulus program to bail out vulnerable athletes whose earnings have been affected by the pandemic.

On the stimulus program, each athlete selected will receive the equivalent of 100 U.S. dollars every month for the next three months.

Meanwhile, there is a boosted hope as the Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk confirmed that he is fit and ready to take on the battle to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic.

He said, “100% ready” to return to action when lockdown lifts. There were days when I couldn’t walk.”

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The 400m world record-holder has been out of action with a knee injury since 2017.

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