Kenya might have escaped a ban by World Athletics but things continue to get tough for local athletes as competition rules have been tightened for countries classified in Category “A” in the war against doping.
Until the end of last year, athletes could attain qualifying times for championship events by competing at any event, anywhere, but that has changed, starting this year. In a message to national federations dated December 12, the athletics world governing body said it will no longer recognise results registered at competitions not listed in its calendar of events.
Federations must register national permit competitions with World Athletics lest athletes are denied opportunities to achieve standards or points for their ranking in their country.
Most countries in Category “A” have been given only four events to meet qualifying standards for the 2023 World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 19-27 in Budapest, Hungary.
Athletics Kenya has announced that Kenyan runners looking to compete in the event will only qualify at the national trials, national championships and the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour or any other international race recognised by World Athletics.
Regional or institutional championships that had electronic timing systems and a good ground for qualification are now out of the question. The rule will affect mostly sprinters and field event athletes.
Category “A” rules that require athletes to go through three drug tests 10 months prior to the World Athletics Championships or Olympic Games locked out Kenyan athletes from world events and the rule could add more pain.
Athletics Kenya, athletes and their coaches and managers must work in sync to beat these stringent rules so that we can have more clean athletes representing the country.