Sports and drugs: a critical analysis of the legal framework on doping in Kenya
Soita, Silicho Simiyu
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Doping has been inadequately provided for in law, policy and practice in Kenya over a long period of time. Proliferation of doping cases among Kenyan athletes raised doubts over the ability of the Kenyan legal framework on anti-doping to regulate the use of performance enhancing substances. This resulted into a sanction by the World Anti-Doping Agency1. This study seeks to critically analyses the Kenyan legal framework on doping and assess its suitability to curb the number of doping incidences among Kenyan athletes. Among the issues to be considered include: the sufficiency and efficiency of existing Kenyan anti-doping laws, factors impeding the application of these laws and finally recommendations to improve their applicability and efficiency. The study was conducted through literature review on anti-doping laws and adopted a qualitative analysis. It established that there is a general belief about the inefficacy of anti-doping laws, programmes and the manner in which tests are conducted. Most people consider the severity of punishment as inappropriate and lenient.2 It was further realized that law alone is insufficient to regulate doping. In order to reduce doping cases among Kenyan athletes, it is this paper’s recommendation that barriers hindering the application of doping laws be eliminated. It further proposes that appropriate educational programmes be established to enhance awareness among athletes. Sporting institutions besides physical training should invest in programmes aimed at discouraging the use of performance enhancing substances. Event organizers and sport federations should closely work together to establish rules of each competition to disincentivize dopers. Improved research methods should also be put in place.