D.L. Chandler

Kenya’s Olympic Committee Did National Teams Dirty In Rio

 

Kenya‘s representation at this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil appears to be tainted by the African nation’s Olympic committee poor planning and varying levels of corruption. Various reports reveal an incredible number of gaffes made by the officials, which also includes taking money that was intended for the athletes.

Last week, a fifth official from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya was dragged from his bed and arrested for stealing a reported $800,000 and Nike equipment meant for the national teams. NOCK VP Ben Ekumbo’s arrest follows four officials who were arrested in September for stealing money meant for the athletes towards travel, their hotel stays, and other needs. The quartet was also connected to the theft of Nike equipment according to a CBC report.

However, a report from the Associated Press has shown that the troubles faced by the Kenya team is larger than expected. Despite the nation having its best showing at the summer games with 13 medals, the athletes faced troubles that loomed ahead of the trip to Rio and during their stay in Brazil. A government-ordered report was ordered by Kenya officials, which sparked a lengthy investigation.

From AP:

The investigation was ordered at the end of August by the sports minister after allegations of corruption being rife at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), which was disbanded after Rio amid allegations that some of the $5.7 million Olympic budget was stolen.

Since the committee began its investigation, Kenya’s Olympic team leader has been charged with stealing $256,000 and three other senior Olympic committee officials – two vice presidents and the secretary general – face charges of stealing boxes of Nike apparel that were meant for athletes. One VP was arrested hiding under his bed in an apartment filled with brand new Nike equipment.

Because those cases are in court, the report couldn’t refer to them. But there was plenty more investigators could reveal.

They demanded that NOCK account for how it has used the $714,000 it’s been given every year by Nike since 2013, and where the $520,000 worth of apparel it received every year has gone. There don’t appear to be records.

Also, some of Kenya’s top athletes, including track and field world champions Asbel Kiprop, Julius Yego and Ezekiel Kemboi, may have been cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars in Nike bonuses due to them for winning medals at major competitions, bonuses they have not received from Kenyan officials, according to the report.

There are staggering examples of poor planning, inadequate training facilities, stolen monies, undelivered equipment and other instances connected to this ongoing scandal. Many of the NOCK officials that have been pegged as corrupt have stated their innocence.

The AP’s full report can be found here.

Photo: NBC Sports/YouTube/Screen Cap

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