Kenya Risks Losing Olympic Funding after Sacking National Olympic Committee

Fredrick Ngugi August 26, 2016
Kenyan 800m men's world record holder and Rio 2016 gold medalist David Rudisha. Tuko

The move by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario to disband the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has put the nation at risk of being suspended by the International Olympic Committee, which does not allow governments to interfere with its operations, according to the BBC.

On Thursday, Wario disbanded the NOCK over allegations of shambolic handling of the Rio 2016 Games, which ended on Sunday.

In a press statement, Wario said he was transferring responsibilities of the country’s Olympic committee to Sports Kenya, who, among other things, would be selecting members of a new committee.

He also formed a commission to look into allegations of mismanagement surrounding the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and present a full report by September 30, 2016.

“Enough is enough. I am with immediate effect transferring NOCK’s responsibilities to Sports Kenya on an interim basis,” the Sports Minister said.

We’re Not Moving

Hours after the Cabinet Secretary announced the disbanding of the National Olympic Committee Kenya, the committee’s secretary-general FK Paul issued a statement saying the minister does not have any authority to disband the body.

Paul also made it clear that the committee will not leave office, warning that they will be going to court to seek reprieve.

He also hinted that they will formerly write to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to seek further direction.

Currently, the IOC has suspended Kuwait’s National Olympic Committee for government interference; that nation’s athletes had to compete as independent Olympic athletes in Rio, according to the BBC.

Kenya now risks similar repercussions if the disbanded NOCK makes good its threat to lodge a complaint with the IOC.

Kenyans Weigh In

Despite its impressive performance – Kenya ranked 15th overall in the recent Rio 2016 Olympics – the Kenyan Olympics team has attracted a fair share of criticism over its management of the entire contest in Brazil.

Apart from the Kenyan Olympics team manager being sent home over bribery allegations, athletes lacking tickets to Olympic villages, and officials using athletes’ tickets for food and accommodations, it also emerged that some officials sold kits donated to Kenyan athletes by Nike.

This debacle caused Kenyan parliamentarians to spend a whole hour of their Tuesday afternoon session discussing the apparent mismanagement of the Kenyan team in Rio.

The Members of Parliament condemned the shameful way in which the National Olympic Committee handled Rio Olympics and called for a quick probe into the allegations.

“It is a pity that as our athletes toil to place Kenya on top of the world map, some greedy, selfish individuals only see their exploits as opportunities for self-gain and plunder,” Rarieda MP Nicolas Gumbo said in parliament.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: June 19, 2018


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