Woow! The passage of the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill of 2020 on Tuesday night, as recommended by the National Assembly Department on Sports, Culture and Tourism, was, for lack of better words, a move in the right direction.
But first, many thanks to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for being steadfast in the fight against doping.
We are where we are because of her push to eliminate the menace and make sport clean.
She has been in the fore-front in the fight against doping and has not hidden her intentions to banish athletes from sport if found doping.
The National Assembly saved Kenya in the nick of time as the country risked incurring the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) wrath if it failed to align its anti-doping laws, codes and regulations within the agreed deadline.
Failing to align to the national legal framework of the 2021 Code within the set time-lines was going to result in a declaration of non-compliance by Wada.
The deadline for action was December 31, 2020, and non-compliance status would have led into the country being barred from participating in all future international sporting competitions including regional and international events.
The code, which was enacted in November last year, is a harmonised document outlining the anti-doping policies, rules and regulations that all sports organisations and public authorities worldwide should adhere to.
The public suggestions, needs and concerns were also factored in by the committee in line with article 118 of the Constitution.
Part of the amendments in the Act include the expansion of the proposed law to encompass board members, directors, officers and specified employees and delegated third parties and their employees involved in any form of doping control.
Besides, the same act proposes a repeal of section 31 to clarify on the jurisdiction of the Sports Disputes Tribunal over anti-doping cases that may be brought before them.
The new act also includes a provision for multi-agency collaboration in the fight against doping control.
We will all agree that the New Bill will tighten the loose ends we have experienced in the past.
This time, the government will work closely with, among others, the immigration department, security forces, sports federations and health professionals in these renewed efforts to stamp out the vice.
This time round, athletes will have to tread with care because a blunder will see them thrown into oblivion forever. The cat and mouse games they have continued to play must come to an end now.
What the Bill means is that there will be no place to hide with the administration also equally tightened.
The future of athletics is no doubt in the hands of the athletes who are willing to stay clean and win clean,
We have recently focused on the youth in different parts of the country in a bid to change the matrix.
For those who have been lucky to attend the anti-doping seminars over the years, you need to apply that knowledge or suffer.
Finally as we end the year, allow me to wish the entire sporting fraternity a Happy New Year!