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The Kenyan Sports Minister Amina Mohamed announced on Tuesday, Dec. 3 that the ministry is currently working on legislation to make doping in sport a criminal offense worthy of potential jail time.

In 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency added Kenya to the list of nations as “A” category on the international watch list for doping. Since then the positive tests have escalated to an average of one suspension per week. The country is now at 49 positives for 2019.

Next year it may be a criminal offense to dope.

Since 2004, approximately 200 Kenyan athletes have tested positive.

Although many of the positive test results are not from world-class athletes, there are some including the infamous World Marathon Majors winner Rita Jeptoo, 1500m great Asbel Kiprop, and 2016 Rio Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sungong.

It’s not just the elite or the EPO – a blood booster: Last week, Kenyan teenage runner Angela Ndungwa Munguti, was officially suspended for four years after testing positive for banned anabolic steroids. As of December 4 and 5, 2019, respectively Kenyans Mercy Jerotich Kibarus and James Kibet have been notified that they have test results that have shown the presence of Norandrosterone.

Athletics Kenya took a step earlier promised to consider suspending or banning athletes as well as enablers including coaches, agents, and medical personnel, back in 2016.

At that time, AK suspended Rosa Associati and Volare Sports for six months pending investigations into doping dealing a potential blow to the careers of famous elite athletes under the Italian and Dutch stables on Monday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit on that Monday announced an athlete suspension due to doping in Abraham Kiptum. He was been given a four-year suspension. Kenyan marathon runner Philip Sanga Kimutai was also suspended by the AIU after testing positive for banned drugs.

The 36-year-old is facing a four-year ban for testing positive for testosterone. Next year, that offense could put him behind bars.