NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it will not allow government interference on the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), even as Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hassan Wario stood by his decision to disband the body following mismanagement of Team Kenya at the recently concluded Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Speaking to Capital Sport on Monday, the IOC says it is following keenly on the Kenyan situation while conducting its own investigations and will make a decision on the matter as soon as possible.
“The IOC is following the situation of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya very closely. We are extremely concerned by the situation and recalls that the presumption of innocence should prevail in these circumstances,” the IOC said in its brief response.
The IOC is currently investigating the situation, however will not accept any action or interference from government authorities that would go against the basic principles and rules of the Olympic Charter.”
IOC’s stance comes just after Wario said he will constitute a team to travel to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to present the Kenyan case and seek for guidance in a fortnight time.
The latest development from IOC clearly indicates an imminent ban will come before the shuttle diplomacy trip.
Speaking after a meeting with representatives from all sports federations in the country, Wario remained firm to his decision to disband NOCK disregarding the apparent ban awaiting Kenya.
“We have postponed solving this thing for a very long time and we now have an opportunity to correct the mess once and for all. Let us stop speculating because we don’t know what IOC will say. Maybe they will say very good, well done because of all the things the CID has done in uncovering the mess,” a defiant Wario said.
Capita Sport has learnt that the IOC was waiting on the outcome of the Monday afternoon meeting before announcing their next course of action on Kenya in what amounts to government interference.
NOCK President Kipchoge Keino who has just returned to the country is expected to meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the same even as the legendary celebrated retired athlete declared that he will not step down from his position.
This comes even as Athletics Kenya acting president Rtd. Ltd Gen Jackson Tuwei called upon the minister to rescind on the decision to give a blanket ban on NOCK.
“I support the action taken on the officials but I think we need to look at the decision to ban NOCK as a body and the repercussions it has on us. We need to look at it and see whether it is the right decision. I think we should go for the individuals and not the whole body,” Tuwei said as he gave his remarks during the consultative meeting that lasted for an hour and a half.
But a defiant Wario could not back down on his decision saying; “There are many bodies which have been banned and went on to become better. We will engage the IOC and present them with whatever we have and wait on leadership from them.”
Federation chiefs have been given a week by Sports Kenya and the ministry to propose names of those who will accompany the minister to Lausanne.
This comes even as Wario reconstituted the probe team he named last week to look into the Rio mess saying the decision was informed by integrity issues surrounding some of the members earlier named.
Strathmore University lecturer Paul Ochieng will head the committee assisted by retired Kenyan athlete Rose Tata Muya.
Experienced journalist Elias Makori, former Olympic steeplechase champion Moses Kiptanui, IAAF’s technical director Ibrahim Hussein, High Court advocate Njeri Onyango and a representative from the Attorney General’s office will constitute the team.
They are expected to hand in a report by September 30 on their findings.