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Rio report triggers blame game between CS Hassan Wario and Nock officials

By Gilbert Wandera | Updated Wed, November 30th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3

Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai has turned the heat on Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario over the Rio Olympic Games mess.

Ekai, who, according to the Rio Olympic probe committee report, has taken the biggest blame for the mess, said Wario should take responsibility.

The official also tore into the probe committee accusing its members of trying to unfairly apportion all blame on him and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock).

"When the report was released three weeks ago, I was never given a copy and now I understand why. There was obviously a plot to blame me for all the ills pertaining to the games," he said.

He added: "Remember, the probe committee was formed while I was still in Rio and I was not consulted at all on its formation."

Ekai also denied that he was the chairman of the Rio Olympic Games Steering Committee as captured in the probe report.

"I was never the chairman of the committee and there is no appointment letter to that effect. The Sports Cabinet secretary was the one who was supposed to chair meetings of the Steering Committee but he was nowhere to be seen and I was therefore forced to stand in for him," he said.

He questioned Wario's absence in some of the meetings.

"He chaired two of the three meetings held by the committee and I only stood for him in the third one. The question that arises therefore is where was Wario all this time? Was he out of office? As it is, this report just wants to apportion blame and probably that is why I was never given a copy," he said.

"The committee also did not make any effort to contact me so that I could give my side of the story," he added.

Ekai further said the report was biased towards official Team Kenya kit providers, Nike.

"It looks like they took everything that Nike told them as gospel truth without pointing out the difficulties Nock went through in acquiring the kit," he said.

According to the report, Nike officials were forced to ship some of the kit to Brazil after Nock officials gave some athletes the wrong set of uniforms.

Among the athletes who were affected was 800m Olympic and World Champion David Rudisha.

Ekai also defended the money paid for procuring tickets to Brazil and took issue with the probe committee for not digging deeper into the matter.

"They did not talk to me or even to the officer who was responsible for procuring tickets to get the right picture about ticketing. Instead they relied only on information provided by Nock.

"The fact is that by the time the process of acquiring tickets began, it was at the start of the financial year and we did not have money. I therefore, moved very fast to ensure that the team got tickets to travel. Since everything was done at the last minute, the ticket prices went up," he said.