NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya said on Thursday it is confident of meeting an April 5 deadline set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to comply with its regulations by passing a law against doping.
The East African nation has been a world beater in long-distance running, but it missed a WADA deadline in February to implement new regulations.
Some 40 Kenyan athletes have been banned for doping in the last three years. If WADA decides that Kenya is not complying with its rules properly, the country's track and field athletes could miss out on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
The regulations also apply to other sports.
Japhter Rugut, chief executive officer of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), told a seminar on doping in Kapsabet in Western Kenya that the way is clear for parliament to pass the bill into law to fulfill a major condition of WADA and criminalize doping in Kenya.
"The consultant and WADA’s legal experts went through the two documents, and the contentious areas were agreed upon. The documents have already been returned to us, and I hope by tomorrow afternoon the draft will be ready,” Rugut said.
One of the issues that was clarified was Kenya's constitutional requirement in making laws where the process must go through public participation, he said.
Rugut said he was optimistic Kenya would meet the April 5 deadline set by WADA.
“We have fulfilled most of the WADA requirements,” he said.
“WADA wanted a fully fledged independent agency which is not a branch of the ministry or its department. An agency that is beyond influence from external forces,” he said.
(Editing by George Obulutsa and Hugh Lawson)