[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Disunion within National Olympic Committee (Nock) was evident yesterday in the grilling of officials over Rio Olympics scandal by the Labour and Social Welfare Committee.

During the session, it was revealed that some of the items meant for the Olympics budget may have been included without the knowledge of board members.

Two officials differed on the expenditure of Sh83.6 million for items, which were to be used by athletes.

Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission to Rio Olympics Stephen Soi and Treasurer Fridah Shiroya clashed on whether Nock’s board was involved in the approval of the budget, with Shiroya claiming it did not interrogate the document.

“The budget was presented to the board, but we did not have time to interrogate it. The Head of Mission was too busy. We need to know what happened to the budget. There were items whose inclusion we do not know,” said Shiroya.

Among the items in question is purchase of competition equipment, which some MPs claimed was double allocation, as the government provided money for the items.

“When you look at the Nock budget, there is a lot of double funding. There are a lot of discrepancies in the budget,” said Wesley Korir (Cherangany).

Shiroya said the board was unaware of some of the items included in the budget, including some double allocations, which the board was pushed to explain.

“It is very interesting when someone says they did not interrogate the budget because I was busy. The expenditure was included on the strength of the approval by the board,” responded Soi, who is in the eye of a storm, over his role in the Rio debacle.

The comments exposed differences within the committee, even as the Nock Vice-President Ben Ekumbo said everybody should carry their own cross. He said the decision by Sports Cabinet Secretary, Hassan Wario to disband Nock would expose other sports federations affiliated to the committee.

“As we progress, we want to request the committee to look into the implications of disbanding Nock and save the country. Disbandment has far reaching implications...If people did mistakes; let them be taken to task,” he said.

“...if some of these decisions were made collectively by the board, some of the issues we are discussing would not arise,” he said.

The officials were appearing before the committee for the third time to explain their role in the Rio mess that saw athletes complain of mistreatment.

Meanwhile, Nock will earn Sh296 million in the next four years from their contract with sportswear firm Nike.

The eight-year contract signed between Nike and Nock provides for an annual payment of Sh72million in the first four years, which will rise to Sh74 million annually, from the fifth year. Nock has already received Sh288 million from the American firm for the first four years of the contract signed in 2013.

The contract also provides for bonuses to be paid to Nock every time a Kenyan wins a medal during Olympic Games or Commonwealth Games, but it is not clear whether such has been happening.

By AFP 2 hrs ago
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