State must reign in on tainted sports bosses

Former Athletics Kenya (AK) official David Okeyo was banned for life on Thursday by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics board after he was found guilty of corruption.

Mr Okeyo was found guilty of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars of sponsorship payments for his personal use.

Okeyo, a former Secretary-General and Vice President of AK as well as a member of the IAAF Council, and Joseph Kinyua, a former Treasurer of AK, were investigated by the sport’s ethics board in relation to payments made by US sportswear company Nike between 2003 and 2015. Kinyua escaped the IAAF sanctions.

Okeyo did not disclose to Athletics Kenya the withdrawals of the Nike money he made from AK bank accounts and he could also not show any evidence of what the money had

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been used for. Unfortunately what Okeyo was found guilty of seems to be the order of the day in our sportsfederations. While it has taken IAAF to reign in on officials such as Okeyo, we hope the Sports Ministry will pick up from where IAAF left and ensure that sportsofficials who are guilty of misuse of office should be brought to book.

It also raises questions on whether the same trend continues at Riadha House and other sports federations.

We know the ministry also has its own problems like the failure to account for money used at the World Under 18 Championships at Kasarani last year, but while that can be handled by relevant arms of government, their duty now is to do follow the IAAF lead. Our sportsmen and women should not always suffer at the hands of officials and thanks IAAF for taking the lead. Now all our eyes will be on the Sports Ministry to clean up our sport.

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