Despite a surge of doping cases over the last four years, and an increasingly dysfunctional and now suspended drug-testing agency, Kenya’s athletes were cleared to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by the IAAF on Friday.
The International Olympic Committee, which has the final call on whether Kenya’s famed distance runners will run in Rio in August, also is unlikely to stop the country sending a team.
“That’s good news, hey,” Kenya track federation president Jackson Tuwei told The Associated Press, laughing in apparent relief. “That’s real good news. That is the best news I’ve had, at least for today.”
It had been a seriously fretful 24 hours for Tuwei and others after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s unexpected decision on Thursday to suspend Kenya’s national anti-doping body over flawed legislation passed by lawmakers last month. The declaration of non-compliance by WADA raised the possibility that the IAAF might be emboldened to seek a sterner punishment for Kenya, as it did last year when it banned Russia following a crisis at its anti-doping agency.