By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s war to stop young athletes switching
nationality represent oil rich Arab countries has been given a
boost after the IAAF Council agreed to have a minimum three-year
waiting period before an athlete may transfer to represent
President Jack Tuwei has since lauded the move by IAAF Council
saying it will help develop young talent in the country.
“We have been losing
so many young athletes. One moment they are running in school
competitions in Kenya, the next they are lining up against
Kenyan in major championships,” Tuwei said on Saturday in
The IAAF Council
also passed that athletes will have to be vetted by a review
panel to make determinations on the credibility of applications
to switch nationality.
This will require
the provision of evidence that countries are offering full
citizenship and associated rights.
“There is a
provision that an athlete can transfer only once and that no
transfers take place before the age of 20,” said IAAF.
Kenya and Ethiopia
have lost a horde of talented runners to rich countries in Asia,
Europe and the United States. Some of these athletes include
current World Steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet now running for
Bahrain, and Paul Chelimo (USA).
In February last
year, the IAAF Council frozen the transfer of allegiance rule so
it had time to develop a solution to the growing problem of
With the continental
championships approaching in the next few weeks - Africa will
host its own in Asaba, Nigeria from Aug 1-5 - the IAAF Transfer
of Allegiance Review Panel will endeavor to process those that
have been held in the system as quickly as possible.
“Athletes and member
federations will be required to complete new paperwork and sign
a declaration before their case is reviewed by the panel. No
athlete is able to confirm they have transferred to another
territory or country until the review panel has made a final
decision,” said IAAF.