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(Reuters) - Kenya faces a race against time to show the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that it tackling cheating in athletics or it could face expulsion from major competitions, a regional anti-doping official has told the BBC.
Kenya remains the powerhouse of endurance running both on the track and in big-city marathons but around 40 of the country's athletes have been banned for doping in the last three years.
The BBC reported on Thursday that Kenya must now prove to WADA that it is dealing with the issue or it could face being declared non-compliant, which might lead to a ban from competition.
Russia was suspended from world athletics in November following allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in a report by WADA.
"The biggest threat is the declaration of non-compliance and the possible consequences of that," Christine Wambui Mugera, head of the regional anti-doping organization in east Africa, told the BBC.
"The International Olympic Committee and other major event organizers, international federations, have the capacity to refuse entry for athletes from a country that has been declared non-compliant.
"But we have to wait to see how this plays out. The Kenyan government is working very hard to beat the timelines of WADA."
Kenya has established a national anti-doping agency, NADA, but it is not yet operational.
Reporting by Toby Davis in London; editing by Pritha Sarkar