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IOC ready to mediate NOCK-Govt feud

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Kenya's Sports minister Hassan Wario, pictured on August 25, 2016, announced the disbanding of the country's Olympic committee with immediate effect, following the arrest of the secretary-general of Kenya's Olympic committee by the country's police
Kenya’s Sports minister Hassan Wario, pictured on August 25, 2016, announced the disbanding of the country’s Olympic committee with immediate effect, following the arrest of the secretary-general of Kenya’s Olympic committee by the country’s police

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it is ready to mediate the feud between the government and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya, even as it encouraged dialogue between the two parties.

This follows the announcement by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario that he had disbanded NOCK over team Kenya’s mismanagement in Rio and transferred the duties of the national Olympics body to Sports Kenya.

The IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa jointly wrote to NOCK late last week stating that recent actions by the government are considered as a “serious violation of the principles and rules which govern the Olympic Movement”, and in particular of the “fundamental principle of autonomy” of the Olympic Movement.

In a response to Capital Sport, the IOC states; “The IOC and ANOCA have indicated that they would be ready to organise a joint meeting with the NOC and the relevant government authorities at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland with a view to facilitating mutual understanding, if necessary.”

It also notes; “The IOC and ANOCA have also encouraged government authorities and the NOC to engage in a constructive dialogue in order to clarify any misunderstanding which might have led to this regrettable situation, and establish fruitful cooperation for the future, which is no doubt necessary for the development of sport and the athletes in the country.”

IOC’s mediation offer comes a day after NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino moved to court challenging Wario’s decision to disband the body.

Last week, Wario reiterated his decision, saying he will be forming a committee to travel to Lausanne for talks with the IOC over the matter.

The case in court filed by Keino, his Secretary General FK Paul and treasurer Fridah Shiroya argue the disbandment was in bad faith, unreasonable and irrational given that it will lead to a ban from the IOC.

The three officials are also seeking to nullify the decision by Wario restraining them from accessing NOCK offices after police locked them down a week ago after seizing uniforms and other kits that were meant for the Kenyan team that travelled to the Rio Olympics.

The Cabinet Secretary was expected to be grilled by Parliament’s Labour Committee on Tuesday morning over the Rio mess and actions taken by his ministry.

Four NOCK officials have since been arrested while Kipchoge and Wario were both grilled by the CID over the mess.

Kenya’s Chief de Mission in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Arap Soi, F.K Paul, Shiroyah and Team Kenya’s overall team manager Pius Ochieng were arraigned in court pending conclusion of investigations for stealing and abuse of office

While Soi who was released from custody on medical grounds was denied cash bail, F.K Paul, Ochieng and Shiroyah were released on a cash bail of Sh200,000 each with their case scheduled to be mentioned September 19. No formal charges have been filed against them.

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