Highlights of the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020

December 18, 2020 - 5 minutes read

Amos Kimunya, the Leader of the Majority Party is proposing amendments to the Anti-Doping Act, 2016 through the Anti-Doping (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The object of the bill is to align the Anti-Doping Act 2016 with the 2021 Anti-doping Code and Regulations so as to allow Kenyan athletes to continue to participate in local, regional and international sports.

First, the Act proposes the replacement of the words ‘sports organization’ and replacing it with the words ‘national and international sports federations and national and international sports organizations’, and the word ‘sportsperson’ with the word ‘athletes’.

The bill also proposes an amendment to the 2016 Act by adding the purpose for the Act to include safeguarding the physical health and mental integrity of athletes.

If the bill is passed, the powers of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) will have further clarity such that the agency is the only organization that will be permitted to carry out anti-doping activities in Kenya as well as to enforce the provisions of the Act. The agency shall also be recognized by all national and international sports federations and organizations. The Anti-Doping Agency shall also have the mandate to implement, evaluate and promote anti-doping education, it can also delegate such duties to  third parties that it deems fit.

The bill seeks to introduce a statement on the independence of the Agency and the Committee from any undue influence. The Agency and Committee are independent of any influence from sports and government as well as any person involved in the management and operation of any sports federations and the National Olympic committee, in the conduct of its anti-doping activities.

The draft law proposes to amend section 10 of the Act by introducing further qualifications required for any person to be appointed to the Board of the Agency. The bill also puts forward the signing of a conflict of interest and confidentiality declaration by any new Board member of the Agency. The bill proposes that a board member shall be removed if he or she no longer meets the required qualifications.

The bill seeks to amend section 14 of the Act to enhance the independence of the Board and the Secretariat of the Agency such that they can now:

  • Authorize banking accounts for the funds of the Agency as may be necessary
  • Approve the strategic plan and lay down policy guidelines for operations and management of all funds collected by the Agency
  • Perform and oversee acts or undertake any activity as may be incidental or conducive to the attainment or fulfilment of any of the functions of the Agency under the Act.

The Bill proposes that the Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for the administrative support to the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee. It also proposes to amend section 19 of the Act to disqualify from employment by the Agency of persons who in the past have been involved in any form of anti-doping rule violation.

Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee

The bill moves that members of the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee and its composition will have to sign a conflict of interest and confidentiality declaration.

Appeals for exemption in case one needs to use a prohibited substance due to a medical condition, may, in accordance with the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions be applied directly to international federations.

The draft law proposes to introduce gender neutral language in the Act.

Testing of athletes

The bill moves that samples taken from an athlete shall be analysed at an accredited laboratory or a laboratory otherwise approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency to detect prohibited substances or its metabolites and markets. In the same breath, the Agency will be required to appoint anti-doping compliance officers with the objective of providing an enhanced framework for the same offices. 

The bill proposes to bestow the tribunal with the jurisdiction to hear and determine the following cases:

  • Anti-doping rule violations on national and lower-level athletes and athlete support personnel;
  • Anti-doping rule violations on other persons subject to the Anti-doping Rules;
  • Anti-doping rule violations arising from national and lower-level events;
  • Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) decisions of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK); and
  • Matters of compliance of sports organizations in the first instance and appellate level

The Bill proposes to amend the Act by inserting new sections for the establishment, functions, and operations of the Anti-Doping Results Management Panel in order to enhance the aspect of results management in cases of anti-doping rule violations.

Last but not least, the bill submits that each sports federation shall prepare rules requiring all athletes preparing for or participating in a competition or activity authorised or organised by a national federation or one of its member organisations, and each athlete support personnel associated with such athletes to agree to be bound by Anti-Doping Rules and the Agency’s results management authority in conformity with the Code as a condition for such participation.

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