Paris - Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed his hope Wednesday that athletes from the east African track giants would compete at the Rio Olympics in August despite doubts over the country's anti-doping legislation.
When asked in an interview with France 24 television whether Kenya was at risk at missing out on the Olympics, Kenyatta said: "We hope not."
Kenyatta said that his country, which has already missed two World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) deadlines, needed more time to pass a robust anti-doping law and avoid a threatened Olympics ban.
The latest WADA deadline for Kenya to tighten its anti-doping law and provide funding for a proposed anti-doping agency expired Tuesday with lawmakers having failed to pass a bill criminalising sports doping.
"Every country has a way in which it formulates its rules and we cannot jump that step," Kenyatta insisted.
"We have made a committment, the law has been passed by my cabinet already, but it must now go through the processes of enactment, which goes through the legislature, it must have public participation."
Kenyatta added: "But the country itself is committed and what we're telling them is let our processes go through.
"What we're assuring them is that we may not be able to achieve the deadline they have set, but the deadline should be based on the national legislative process and I believe that within the next month we should have gone through all the necessary processes that guide the way we make laws in Kenya."
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe had threatened to ban Kenya from the Rio Games.
The WADA board meets in Montreal, Canada, on May 12, and has within its power the ability to declare Kenya non-compliant should it consider the African nation not to have taken the demanded anti-doping steps.