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Row over team officials to Rio paralympics

ATHLETICS By Gilbert Wandera | August 10th 2016
A checkpoint at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 5, 2016 during the ceremony to hand over the security of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 to the National Force. / AFP PHOTO / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA

A row has erupted over selection of team officials ahead of the Paralympic games to be held in Rio Brazil from September 7 to 18.

At the centre are claims that some officials were unfairly left out of the traveling contingent. Those left out claim that some joy riders have instead been pick to travel to Rio for the games.

Two members of the Paralympic board who asked not to be named claimed the original list of officials who had been agreed upon to travel for the games was changed without consultations.
“We had agreed on a list of officials who were to travel at one of our board meetings only for it to be changed without any  consultation.

“Our concern is that the current list of officials is not gender sensitive as only four women have been picked to travel. Apart from that, there are too many government officials and we don’t know what they are going to do in Rio,” said the complainants.

The officials also accused current Paralympic board chairlady Agnes Oluoch of high-handedness and refusal to discuss the matter.

“We have requested her to call for a board meeting so that we can discuss the matter, but she has categorically refused to do that.”

But when contacted,  Ms Oluoch said all board members were involved in the selection of traveling officials to the Rio games.
She insisted that those complaining were doing so after being left out, but that they should understand that not everyone can travel.

“Initially, we had a big number of athletes who were to travel to Rio based on their ‘B’ qualifications but when this was changed that only those with ‘A’ qualifications are eligible,” she said.

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