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Keino among Kenyan delegation to meet IOC

National Olympic Committee-Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino.PHOTO/FILE
National Olympic Committee-Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino.PHOTO/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – Beleaguered National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino is among the Kenyan delegation that will depart on Wednesday night for Lausanne, Switzerland to meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the disbandment of NOCK.

The team that will be led by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Hassan Wario, will be seeking to find solution from IOC after the disbandment that could attract ban from the world governing body.

Also travelling are Sports Permanent Secretary Richard Ekai, representative from the ministry, Kenya’s Cross Country legend Paul Tergat who is also an IOC member, NOCK officials Ben Ekumbo, James Chacha and lawyer Sharad Rao.

The two day meeting that will end on Friday will seek to find solution after the government breached the IOC constitution by interfering with the affairs of the NOCK.

Wario disbanded NOCK following mismanagement of Team Kenya at the Rio Olympics that has seen four officials; head of delegation Stephen Arap Soi, overtal Team Manager Pius Ochieng, Treasurer Fridah Shiroyah and Secretary General F.K Paul charged for theft and abuse of office.

“I am hoping that we are going to find a lasting solution in Lausanne. Whatever the minister did was wrong and he should have first consulted, before making the decision to disband NOCK. Whatever route he took was wrong and it puts us in a bad situation with the IOC,” Keino told Capital Sport.

Wario has reiterated he will not back down on his decision to ban NOCK even as some of the officials called on Parliament’s Labor, Social and Welfare Committee to intervene and instead see to it that action is taken on specific individuals.

“I want to ask this honorable committee to ask the minister to rescind this decision because it has far reaching repercussions on the future of sports in this country,” NOCK vice president Ben Ekumbo told the committee.

 “The best thing for him to do is take action on individuals. The law has already taken its course. If we remember what happened with the Youth Fund saga, those who were found guilty of embezzling funds were dealt with. Not the whole institution,” Ekumbo pleaded.

This comes even as 19 of 21 NOCK affiliates voted to suspend seven NOCK officials, led by the chairman Kipchoge Keino over the Rio de Janeiro mess.

Keino has termed the move unconstitutional and said they will not whatsoever accept the decision reached upon by the affiliates in a meeting held on September 10 in Nairobi.

“They have written to us with some letter head that we don’t know. That is forgery. We are not going in any way to accept such kind of a coup. We have a constitution and rules which should be followed. They consulted none of those,” an agitated Keino said.

But in a communique to media houses on Wednesday evening, the interim body said it had made the decision to suspend the seven on provisions by the constitution saying the suspended officials have 30 days to respond to the allegations.

The seven were accused of;

1)      Breach of duty of care by failing to ensure the safety and well-being of Kenyan participants to the Rio Olympics as required under Article 1.5 of the IOC Code of Ethics;

2)      Breach of integrity of conduct by failing to act with the highest degree of integrity, diligence and professionalism as required under Article 2 of the IOC Code of  Ethics – particularly when taking decisions affecting Kenyan participants to the Rio Olympics;

3)      Breach of principles of good governance by failing to apply principles of good governance and by failing to act in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner when conducting official responsibilities as required under the Fundamental Principles of Olympism and under Article 11 of the IOC Code of Ethics;

4)      Bringing the Committee and wider Olympic Movement into public disrepute in contravention of Article 2 of the IOC Code of Ethics requiring officials to refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption or acting in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement; and

5)      Disrupting harmonious relations and cooperation between the Committee and the state authorities in contravention of the Missions and Roles of NOCs as described under Article 27 (5) of the Olympic Charter, and Article 1.3 of the IOC Code of Ethics.