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Kenya serves notices to football, athletics federations

Hassan Wario Nairobi, Jan 18 (IANS) Kenya's cabinet secretary for sports, arts and culture Hassan Wario has warned Athletics Kenya (AK) and Fo ...

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News 18 Jan 2015, 14:45 IST
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Hassan Wario

Nairobi, Jan 18 (IANS)

Kenya's cabinet secretary for sports, arts and culture Hassan Wario has warned Athletics Kenya (AK) and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to clean up their act or face disbandment. In his most scathing attack yet on the two giant federations at the Sports Personality of the Year (Soya) Awards gala in Nairobi Friday night, Wario thundered "this is the year of the red card" in reference to the wrangle riddled governing bodies, Xinhua reported Sunday.

Wario started his diatribe with AK president Isaiah Kiplagat for the complicity on the doping issue and management wrangles that have torn the federation into two.

"We established an Anti-Doping task force that AK did not bother to show up. The case of Rita Jeptoo has placed us in the category of hall of shame, not hall of fame. We will deal decisively with them. We can't continue like this," Wario underscored.

He said the revelation that Boston and Chicago marathon Champion Rita Jeptoo had doped left him gutted.

"I was attending a sports symposium in Doha when the news came in. I felt cheated because I was in Boston clapping when Rita closed the line as champion. Was I celebrating a cheat?" wondered Wario.

Paul Tergat, the former World Marathon Record holder said as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), he is at pains to explain Kenya's position on doping as bigger names get caught for cheating.

Wario took the war to AK as he took chairman Kiplagat to task asking where he was when the whole saga started and why they have failed to curb its spread.

"I thought Kiplagat should have been the first person to resign. Where was he when all this started? When did the rain start beating us? AK has refused to partner with us on doping and we will crack the whip soon," he said.

"It is time for action and Kiplagat must realise that we will no longer look without acting," said Wario.

Kenya is setting up an Anti-Doping center in Nairobi in collaboration with China Anti-Doping Agency and Norway.

"These are credible Anti-doping organisations and even WADA is supporting our initiative. But AK refused to work with us when he formed the ministerial anti-doping committee. What did they know and what are they hiding. We will kick them out," said Wario.

Athletics Kenya is currently involved in leadership wrangles as official accuse Kiplagat of failing to act.

Jeptoo, the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathons, tested positive after an out-of-competition test in September 2014 and since then no one has been screaming her innocence.

Wario said Kenya's anti-doping agency will be operational in a few weeks time and called on Kenyan sportsmen and women to compete fairly.

Jeptoo Thursday appeared for two hours at a hearing with the AK officials here but no decision was reached regarding the length of her ban from competition and which of her marathon titles she will forfeit.

On football, the minister said the government was not afraid of being banned to salvage the nation from a crisis-ridden FKF.

"What these leaders don't understand is they run the sport on behalf of the sportspersons taking part in that federation and if they fail, we can get people who can do that work better," Wario said.

He underscored he had spent the two years of his tenure studying local federations and "The common string cutting across them is mismanagement."

Wario revealed the government would soon involve the country's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe financial dealings in football and athletics.

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