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SPORTS

HEADS MUST ROLL: Athletes call on President Uhuru Kenyatta to trigger disbandment of AK and Nock

ATHLETICS By Michael Ollinga | August 23rd 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta shares a light moment with Olympic champion and world record holder in the 800 metres David Rudisha, other athletes and officials after hosting The Beijing Olympics Team and the IAAF World Youth Championships Team for breakfast at State House, Nairobi.

A section of retired and active athletes have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and disband the current Athletics Kenya (AK) leadership for mismanagement of the country’s athletics team that traveled to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics games.

Over 30 athletes who addressed the Press in Eldoret town congratulated the Kenyan athletes for performing well at the games and bringing home the best results ever recorded in the biggest sporting event, saying they overcame a myriad of challenges brought about by poor leadership of AK and the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock)

According to the athletes, the current leadership of AK and Nock did not put the interests of the sportsmen first.

PERENNIAL TROUBLES

“AK has failed and it is time for us who have worn the shoe and know where it pinches to take over leadership and address the perennial troubles that have kept happening under the watch of the current and previous officials most of whom were not athletes themselves,” said Moses Tanui.

Tanui pointed out skewed team selection, poor preparations, mismanagement of funds and the infamous athletes’ kit scandal as solid indicators that AK has failed and needs fresh leadership.

“AK has ignored the needs of athletes and prioritised their own interests. It is the same people that have been rewarding their cronies with trips at the expense of athletes thus killing our sport. It was unfortunate to hear the athletes complain for missing training gear supplied by Nike to Nock which shows how far impunity has gone,” explained Tanui.

The two-time Boston Marathon champion reiterated that it was time for athletes who have shown great leadership on the track to take over the management of the sport to ensure local talent doed not switch nationality giving competitors an edge over Kenya.

Former 5000m World Champion Yobes Ondieki said the President needs to urgently intervene in the matter before the country loses its best athletes to other countries thereby threatening Kenya’s rating in athletics.

“It is despicable to hear even the Sports Cabinet Secretary himself saying he was a victim in the saga surrounding Kenyan athletics. He should tell us he is a victim to who and who then will we ask questions concerning mismanagement of the sport?” Ondieki asked.

Ondieki observed that the statement by Sports CS Wario is proof that he is unable to lead that docket and called on President Kenyatta to relieve him of his duties immediately to allow an able person to take charge and resuscitate athletics.

Leah Malot, 1987 All Africa Games 10,000m gold medalist, said she was tired of answering questions from Kenyans over failures in athletics circles yet they have been denied the chance to authoritatively make decisions by a skewed constitution developed by some selfish AK officials.

“Kenyans have asked us a lot of questions which we cannot answer and we need to ascend to the leadership of the sport to bring transformation. We want an election for new leaders because AK has had acting leaders in key positions for the better part of the year,” said Malot.

Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat and David Okeyo are currently on suspension following the misappropriation of funds allegations levelled against them

“The current leadership took over from the old system and has done very little to transform the association. The president needs to view this matter as a serious concern and instigate the sending off of the failed leaders,” said Wilson Boit the former 3000 metres steeplechase record holder.

He called on the President to set up a probe team to investigate the circus in Rio de Janerio to ensure those behind the mess take responsibility for their actions.

“We have waited for long for change and it is our time to lead in the way that we understand best. We want the the AK constitution to be amended before we go to elections,” Boit said.

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