World athletics chief Sebastian Coe says the IAAF will not shirk from its duty to ban Kenya from the Olympics if the country is declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency, British media reports said yesterday. Athletics powerhouse Kenya, which topped the medals table at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, has had more than 40 athletes banned for doping in the past three years. A regional anti-doping official said last week Kenya faced a race against time to prove to WADA it was dealing with the issue or it could join Russia in being declared non-compliant.
According to reports in two British newspapers, Coe has told BT Sport TV that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) would take any action necessary to restore the reputation of the sport.
"We know that a disproportionate amount of reputational damage is caused by a relatively few countries and we have to be very much more proactive," the IAAF president was quoted as saying in an interview to be broadcast later on Thursday. "Yes, if it means pulling them out of world championships or Olympic Games then we will have to do that.
The East African nation's case was not helped when Athletics Kenya Chief Executive Isaac Mwangi was asked to step aside for 21 days this week pending an investigation into allegations he sought bribes to reduce the doping bans of two athletes. Mwangi has described the allegations as a "fabrication". Russia was banned from world athletics in November following allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in a report by WADA.
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