NAIROBI, Kenya, March 7- Leonard Komon will not be re-instated to the Punta Umbria World Cross team, Athletics Kenya (AK) stated on Sunday in what they referenced as the final word on the storm that has exposed the federation to ridicule in the past week.
However, the saga is far from over as four officials prepare to take the federation to court Monday to press for the return of the 2008 World Cross silver medallist to the team preparing for the 20 March edition in Spain at Kigari, Embu, 200km from Nairobi.
In a statement read to local media by AK vice-chairman, Paul Mutwii, said in part, “The federation has responsibility to safeguard the associations’ and national interests regarding teams selected for national duty. In the light of this, and the fact that AK followed rules to the letter-the final decision was that Komon would not be reinstated in the World Cross team."
“The association recognises that Komon has been a very good athlete and he will continue to be an asset in the future Kenyan teams. He himself has stated that he will not contest the associations’ decision to replace him. It would be advisable that third parties do not misadvise him and derail him from his future exploits,” the declaration continued as the federation opened itself up to ‘meet and guide Komon.’
Komon however, denied any compromise had been reached with AK asserting, "They have not met me to discuss this matter since I returned on Tuesday and they cannot say I agreed to anything. All I need from them is an apology since I’m not willing to disrupt the team from concentrating on Spain.”
In their declaration, AK said the decision to replace Komon who would have featured in his sixth successive World Cross was taken on February 26 as a matter of urgency since it was the same day when the deadline for submissions of final squads for the event to world body IAAF was elapsing on the very day.
“Just before replacement, there was contact with his manager who confirmed that Komon would definitely run in the Puerto Rico race. He was advised that Komon could focus fully on the race as he was going to be replaced immediately,” Mutwii said terming the furore that has greeted the decision as a matter that has, "Been blown out of proportion by third parties.”
When quizzed, the vice-chairman revealed the federations’ executive was yet to meet to see what action to take against those who flouted their regulations, including Komon’s Belgian manager, Marc Cojstens.
"We are awaiting our officials who travelled to South Africa for the Africa Cross country to return so that we can look exhaustively into the matter before deciding how to act."
On the law suit, he remarked, "We shall cross that bridge when we get there. We have not been made aware of any case and once notified, we shall arrange our defense."