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Underfire Kenyan Olympic board warns of stalemate

Nairobi, Tuesday

The underfire Kenyan National Olympic Committee (NOCK) on Tuesday warned it faced imminent suspension from the IOC if the government failed to honour an agreement to reinstate it into office.

The International Olympic Committee helped to broker a truce between the two parties in Lausanne last week, three weeks after Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario announced he was disbanding the NOCK over their poor handling of the Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro.

The IOC ordered that NOCK, led by two-time Olympic gold medallist Kipchoge Keino, be allowed to continue in office to spearhead reforms and hold fresh elections before the end of the year. But Keino has accused Wario of reneging on his pledge to re-open the NOCK offices, which were closed down by police to allow for investigations after four top officials were arrested for abuse of office and alleged theft of team uniforms.

“We have been trying to get in touch with the minister for the last two days but he does not want to talk to us. Right now, we cannot get access to even pay our debtors since the treasurer, Fridah Shiroya is still in court.

We urgently require to pay for the workers to continue with our new office block, which is currently under construction,” Keino told AFP. “Unless this impasse is resolved immediately, it might result in Kenya being banned for four years, and this will greatly have a negative impact on the youth of this country,” he added.

Four top NOCK officials including Shiroya and secretary general Francis Kinyili Paul are currently in court charged with the shambolic preparation and mismanagement of the team in Rio. -AFP

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