News 30th August 2016

Kenyan government disbands Olympic Committee

Kenya’s Minister for Sport, Hassan Wario, has disbanded Kenya’s Olympic Committee (NOCK) and has transferred its responsibilities to state organisation Sports Kenya, risking an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban for government interference in sport. Under Rule 27.9 of the Olympic Charter, ‘the IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement in the country of an NOC, including suspension of or withdrawal of recognition from such NOC if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered’. The IOC has told Capital FM Kenya that it will not accept any interference from government authorities that would go against the principles of the Olympic Charter.

Wario has also formed a Probe Committee to investigate issues with the management of Kenyan athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Chef de Mission Stephen arap Soi, NOCK Secretary General F. K. Paul and Assistant Secretary James Chacha were arrested in Nairobi after arriving from Rio, reports Reuters. Kenya was forced to send two athletics officials home from Rio after one posed as an athlete to give a doping test, and another was implicated in an ARD/Sunday Times investigation. It is understood that the Probe Committee will report its findings by 30 September.

In addition to this, it has been alleged that official kit was sold to members of the public in Rio; that kit destined for athletes remained at the NOCK offices in Kenya; and that unfit accommodation was obtained for the Kenyan team after NOCK failed to secure a flight until after the Olympic Village had closed. Kenya won six gold, six silver and one bronze medal at Rio, making it second only to the USA in track events and the leading African nation in the medal table.

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