NAIROBI, Kenya, June 21 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will consider taking harsh action against the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) when the Executive Board meets July 9 and 10 after the national body failed to conduct elections.
In a letter sent to NOCK President Kipchoge Keino and his Secretary General, Francis K. Paul dated June 21, the IOC demands explanations why the Elective General Assembly that was slated for May 5 did not take place.
The polls were aborted after the Kenya Taekwondo Federation obtained a Court Order stopping the process and on top of that, NOCK received two injunctions from the Sports Dispute Tribunal, one barring Badminton’s Anna Njambi from participating in the elections while the second was restraining the Taekwondo and Kenya Cycling Federations from the polls.
However, the IOC argues that the court did not stop the elections as a whole and asked NOCK to explain who has an interest in constantly delaying the completion of the polls.
The IOC also wants to know why the Taekwondo Federation went to court when a satisfactory and fair solution to refer the pending cases to the NOCK General Assembly for final decision before proceeding with the elections, in accordance with the NOCK constitution was agreed upon between all concerned parties and clearly communicated by the Electoral Board in its letter dated May 4.
The NOCK will also have to explain to the IOC what concrete actions have been taken so far to remediate the situation, as required in the IOC’s letter dated May 18.
In regard to this, the IOC said it sees no reason as to why it should re-consider its decision confirmed by the IOC Executive Board at its meeting on March 16 to withhold its payments and subsidies to NOCK.
“As you know, this decision was taken not only because of the current situation, but also due to the fact that a significant number of Olympic Solidarity programmes/funding allocated to your NOC have yet to be justified in accordance with the Olympic Solidarity standards and requirements.”
“First of all, please allow us to express our profound disappointment at the content of your letter in which you blame third parties for the current situation instead of addressing the real issues mentioned in our letter dated 18 May 2017,” part of the IOC letter read.
“Contrary to what has been mentioned in your letter, it appears clearly (from the documents that you have forwarded to us) that it is ONLY the legal action initiated by the “Taekwondo Federation” – whose current status has yet to be confirmed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) – that resulted in the High Court Order to stop the elections as a whole.
“The Sports Dispute Tribunal took a number of decisions in relation to the eligibility or non-eligibility of a few Federations to participate in the Elective General Assembly, but did not, however, take any decision to stop the elections as a whole.
“In this regard, it would be interesting if you could clarify the reasons why these issues about the membership of your NOC – which was not called into question on the occasion of the last Extraordinary General Assembly of your NOC for the adoption of the revised Constitution – were suddenly raised, and why it is in fact your NOC (by letter dated 11 April 2017) that requested (proactively and without any consultation with the IOC) the Ministry/Sports Registrar to be involved and to verify/confirm the list of the eligible members,” the IOC letter continued.
One of the severe actions that could be taken against NOCK is a ban that will mean Kenya will be barred from competing in international events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and the All-Africa Games.