Why we did poorly in London: Report alleges that sabotage, indiscipline and divided loyalty led to dismal performance in Olympics

By FeverPitch Team

Kenya’s Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot and  Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba compete in the women’s 10,000-metre final in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. [PHOTO: AP]

Sabotage, indiscipline, and divided loyalty have been cited as reasons that caused Team Kenya not to perform to its full potential at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Chef De Mission Jonathan Koskei and Executive Officer Stephen arap Soi have torn into Athletics Kenya management, accusing its chairman of acting in cross purposes with the Team Kenya management Board before and during the Olympics.

But the AK boss, Isaiah Kiplagat, said he has not seen the report and could not comment on its contents. “I have never seen that report and I don’t know its contents. The report was sent to the Ministry (of Sports) and has not been released to the public. We never signed anything with the city of Bedford. But I will take legal action against you people (The Standard) if you malign me,” said Kiplagat.

In the report, which was seen by FeverPitch team, they have also accused Vivian Cheruiyot, who won bronze in 10,000m and silver in 5,000m of indiscipline after demanding that her husband be accommodated at the Olympic Village without prior arrangement.

“The team did not perform to the expectation of Kenyans due to divided loyalty, technical aspects especially in coaching and negative publicity. Some athletes did not know who was in charge between AK and NOC-K,” said Koskei in his report, which was handed to Government last week, but not yet made public.

“We have examined Kenya’s performance in the past and need to change the way coaches are appointed,” concludes Koskei.

European conditions

The management cited cases of athletes who were selected for the Olympics but “decided to travel for Samsung Diamond League competitions. Agents/foreign managers who have both athletes in Kenya and other countries competing in the same event did not seem to guide our athletes correctly,” said Koskei in the report.

The report blames AK and its chairman severally, citing a case of low altitude training programmes, which NOC-K and the Government had planned for the City of Bristol to help athletes acclimatise for European conditions.

The report says unbeknown to the Management Committee, AK Chairman had also signed a deal with the City of Bedford to take athletes there, which Kiplagat denied yesterday.

Change of goalposts

“It was as a result of various change of goalposts and persistent refusal by the chairman of AK, Isaiah Kiplagat, that we discovered that indeed in June 2010, he signed an MoU with the City of Bedford to have pre-Olympic training camp and was therefore against Team Kenya training in Bristol, claiming that it was unsuitable because it was low altitude.

“Bristol and Bedford are both in the same altitude and would have provided same benefits. Kenyans should judge for themselves who between NOC-K and AK misguided or denied the athletes acclimatisation opportunities,” it says.

“As a result of non-cooperation by Athletics Kenya and the athletes, the team did not perform to our expectation,” said the report.

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