NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Pressure continues to mount on the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) due to growing complaints of mismanagement of Team Kenya in Rio de Janeiro.
Ibrahim Hussein, a former Boston and New York Marathon winner, currently one of the nine IAAF regional development officers has waded into the calls for change at the helm of the NOCK leadership.
Also a board member of Sports Kenya and a former Athletics Kenya North Rift branch chair, Hussein was in Rio alongside the team and affirmed that indeed there was a lot of mismanagement of athletes and officials by NOCK.
“There were a lot of problems in the camp especially the management of NOCK. I think it is high time we need to look at it (management) because the only management they are involved in is commonwealth and Olympics every two years,” Hussein said.
He adds; “You cannot believe what was going on there because these are people who are seasoned administrators who are supposed to be very good managers but when we went there everybody was complaining.”
“I was supposed to be accredited but I didn’t get my accreditation and I was forced to buy tickets every day. Athletes also had a problem flying there, even in the camp there were a lot of problems,” a visibly dejected Hussein told Capital Sport on touching down from Rio.
As well as calling for the removal of members of the current NOCK officials, Hussein believes it is high time for NOCK president Kipchoge Keino to step aside and leave the leadership of the committee to fresh blood.
“If you overstay, you tend to tire. We need some new blood. Dr Kipchoge is a very respected person which we need to recognise but we can make him an honorary chair and not an active one.”
“The people who are running it are from these federations who have no one at the Olympics. This is where the problem is; people are guarding their positions instead of assisting athletes. You need to go there with a team that can work and assist the athletes. It is time to objectively try and put some new blood in there,” he offered.
The remaining batch of Kenya’s contingent to Rio is expected to touch down in Nairobi on Friday evening with a huge section of the athletes having already returned to the country while some went directly to Lausanne for the IAAF Diamond League.
Among the issues that plighted the team in Rio include the allocation of official uniforms with allegations that some of the kits provided for by the official kit partners Nike were diverted by officials for purposes of selling them.
There were also issues of accreditation with NOCK being accused of handing games accreditation to ‘joyriders’ at the expense of coaches and officials.
Already, President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned of stern action on those found culpable of mismanaging the team and alleged corruption.
Members of Parliament on Tuesday also evening said it was time action was taken as well as a change in the leadership at NOCK.