NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya is making progress in its efforts toward tackling doping by its athletes, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) official said on Wednesday.
"Kenya has done commendably well in the fight against doping and putting structures to help in this fight. We are happy with the legislative and legal steps put in place to tackle doping," Rodney Swigelaar, director of WADA's Africa office, told reporters.
Swigelaar is in Kenya with a delegation from WADA and the Norwegian and South African anti-doping agencies to monitor the progress made so far and sign agreements with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK). The agreement will ensure it gets technical assistance from the Norwegian and South African bodies.
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Kenya's middle and long distance excellence has been marred by doping cases involving its elite athletes. Officials estimate the number of positive dope cases at between 49 and 52 in the four years alone.
WADA threatened the East African nation with sanctions last year, which included barring them from the Rio Olympic Games.
The Kenyan government subsequently enacted legislation that made doping in sports criminal in the country, carrying with it a fine of up to 3 million Kenyan shillings and three years in jail for those found to have violated doping rules.
Swigelaar said eyes are still on Kenya but he was confident it would overcome the problem.
(Editing by Angus MacSwan)