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Coaches, managers warned over sexual harassment

Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has read the riot act to trainers and coaches following cases of sexual abuse meted on women athletes with the latest reports emanating from Uasin Gishu County.

The CS has ordered for immediate and speedy investigations into the matter saying those found contravening the code of management will face the law and be expelled from managing any sports activities both locally and internationally.

“We are not going to allow the sports sector to be put into disrepute. These young Kenyan athletes whose dream is to get to the top may have had their hopes dashed by unscrupulous coaches and officials. As a government, we will not allow this kind of conduct to continue.

No sportspersons will in future go through such an abuse and molestation while they are pursuing their dream in sports,” read part of Echesa’s communiqué.

In the statement, Echessa says the deeply saddening reports contravene the International Humanitarian Law and Kenya’s Sexual Offenses Act of 2006 protecting the rights of individuals in matters related to sexual abuse.

He has called on all federations to ensure they put in place measures that will deter or protect young sportspersons, especially women, who are more vulnerable to these kind of conduct.

“I have instructed Athletics Kenya head of Youth Department Barnabas Korir to lead investigations into the alleged sexual abuse incidences,” the statement further read.

The trend is, however, not new as there have been accusations and counter accusations that some camps, especially the privately run, have been turned into “hunting grounds” where unsuspecting girls are preyed upon by perverted officials and coaches.

In 2017, a Keringet Camp in Nakuru County was closed by former AK president, the late Isaiah Kiplagat after claims that the manager was exploiting female athletes and in 2009, David Koskei’s Kiptenden Success Runners Club in Kericho was shut down following similar allegations.

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