IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe yesterday mourned Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, who died last Saturday. Lord Coe is in the country to preside over the IAAF World Under 18 Championships, which commences today and used the event’s opening press engagement yesterday to mourn Nkaissery.
“Let me take this opportunity to convey my sympathy to the family, friends of the late security minister who was helping plan the championship’s safety.
We pay our respects as an organisation and personally,” said Coe, who was accompanied by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hasan Wario, U18 Local Organising Committee chairman Jackson Tuwei and CEO Mwangi Muthee.
“We are grateful to be here and I want to thank the LOC for helping bring this event to fruition. This event is for talents and champions of the future.
The likes of Usain Bolt, Allyson-Felix and Kirani James were unearthed in this competition,” he added before re-acquainting himself with track legends Rose Tatamuya, Billy Konchela and Nyantika Maiyoro.
He also reiterated the organisations’ stand on the hacking fiasco that saw Russian group Fancy Bears name several Kenyan athletes including javelin star and world champion Julius Yego as doping suspects.
“The medical reports were confidential like anyone seated here would want their records kept so I am unhappy that the information got in the public in that manner.”
“It is very difficult to make a conclusion and sanction an athlete from readings of one sample when you have a longitude of other samples,” said Coe.
He went on: “There is a clear road map of sanctioning athletes and one reading is not conclusive.
I care about human rights of clean athletes and I stand to protect them but I also have to respect human rights of suspected or sanctioned athletes.” Kenyan sprinter David Saruni put Lord Coe to task over scrapping of the Under 18 Championships, asking him what the young generation will do after Nairobi’s edition. “We decided to strengthen regional championships at continental level after consultations with technical people which included coaches.
It is for the best and we will work closely with continental federations to formulate structures and hold even more meaningful competitions,” Coe responded.
After a painstaking road to preparing the venue for the championships, Wario, who seems to have moved office from kencom House to Kasarani, hinted at Kenya bidding for another IAAF event.