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Written by Mercy Gachengo. September 16 th.
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Do you remember the hey days when sports was treated with utmost respect? I long for those days; and for those who were not yet born, worry not I will share photos. Lack of integrity and corruption are the root cause of the current fails in the sport sector.

During the August 2016 Olympics that were held in Rio de Janeiro, we heard numerous complaints from the Kenyan athletes representing our country. The chaos started off with the allegations that the Kenya Olympic Team’s Track and Field Manager, Mr. Michael Rotich was willing to bribe the doping agents in order to protect athletes from drug tests and inform them when the drug tests would be done. Mr. Rotich was caught on tape by undercover reporters. He was consequently recalled from Rio and sent back to Kenya.

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Soon after, Coach John Anzrah was found with the accreditation badge of an athlete scheduled to undergo a random doping test, he had allegedly provided a urine sample under the name of 800-metre runner Ferguson Rotich. This earned him an expulsion from Rio. Due to mismanagement and poor logistical planning by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), the athletes experienced deplorable conditions such as; inadequate training kits, chaotic travel arrangements and questionable allocation of slots in the Olympic Village. While some athletes hustled to get air tickets to Rio, government officials and Members of Parliament, support staff and non-essential travelers with no clear roles or obligations in the games went to Rio at the taxpayers’ expense.

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The police raided NOCK offices on 23rd August 2016 and seized uniforms and other kits that were meant for the Rio Olympians, a clear indication of theft of the kits. The Chairman of NOCK Kipchoge Keino, claimed athletes had enough sport kits yet some lacked kits. Nike had fully supplied the kits to be used by the athletes, so we raise questions as to why our heroic athletes were not sufficiently kitted. The question that is buzzing on everyone’s mind is where was the Cabinet Secretary for Sports amid the Rio fiasco? Mr. Hassan Wario even went to Rio and was there before the games and for most part of the Olympics, but what action did he take? Though Wario disbanded NOCK and transferred its duties to Sports Kenya on Thursday 25th of August, he should take responsibility for the mess. President Uhuru Kenyatta defended the disbandment of NOCK, saying that it was consistent with the ethics and standards of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The top NOCK officials were arrested, grilled and placed in custody then released on bail pending further investigations before appearing in court. Keino was grilled for hours at the Directorate of Crimination Investigation (DCI). We demand water tight investigations that will facilitate successful prosecution of responsible individuals and consequent convictions and recovery of public funds lost in the scandal.

Our heroic athletes put in sterling performances in spite of the incompetence and bungling by individuals responsible for our participation in the games. Kenya has already lost a number of its star athletes to other countries, who are now flying other flags high as they claim several medals. Mismanagement of sport and corruption is partly responsible for shifting citizenship by the athletes in the quest for greater recognition and returns. Don’t we all want to see our athletes treated better? Let’s always carry integrity within. Let’s kick out sport corruption!

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Read 514 times Last modified on Friday, 16 September 2016 06:44
Published in Lest We Forget

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