(Xinhua) -- Pressure is
mounting on Athletics Kenya officials to answer to
charges on how 36 locals were cleared to compete for
other nations at the Rio Olympics.
as Kenya’s Olympic committee officials are facing
questions from the country’s Criminal Investigation
department of the police on their role in the scam.
Two-time Boston Marathon winner, Moses Tanui, in an
interview in Nairobi said anyone moving abroad to
compete for a different country must get clearance from
However, if there is any objection, then they have to
wait for three years for them to compete.
However, with 36 runners cleared in Rio, Tanui
believes somebody is cashing in on the desperate
athletes and exploiting them.
"It is happening at an alarming rate. Somebody
somewhere is signing them out without any consideration.
"There are many more unknown stars in Kenya who could
end up surprising us in other national colors if we
don’t take control of what I call ‘human trafficking’,"
Ruth Jebet of Bahrain raised a storm when she won
gold for her adopted country in Rio Olympics in the
women 3,000m steeplechase race.
There is also Eunice Kirwa, who won the women
marathon silver for Bahrain at Rio 2016 while Paul
Kipkemoi Chelimo took the men 5000m silver for the USA.
"It is good for them to win, irrespective of the
country they are running for.
"But what we are keen to look is the controversy
surrounding their departures.
"How are these deals reached for them to represent
their current nation," posed Tanui.
Already the late AK president Isaiah Kiplagat had
been on the receiving end after he entered a deal with
Qatar that saw the transfer of Saif Saeed Shaheen
(Stephen Cherono) in 2003 and was given some kickbacks
The late Kiplagat, together with suspended vice
chairman David Okeyo and treasurer Joseph Kinyua are
under the IAAF Ethics Committee watch for their
involvement in the kit deal that saw Nike secure a
10-year deal to supply the country at the expense of
Chinese apparel Li-Ning.
Bahrain’s Asian steeplechase record holder and world
junior champion Ruth Chebet will be on the look out to
surprise the Kenyans.
Others are Abraham Rotich (800 meters), Benson Theuri
(1,500m); John Koech (3,000m steeplechase); Albert Rop
(5,000m), Ruth Jebet (3,000m steeplechase) and
marathoners Rose Chelimo, Eunice Kirwa and Eunice Chumba.
They will all wear Bahrain colors.
Other countries that had athletes in Rio alongise
Bahrain and Qatar are Azerbaijan, Turkey, USA, Canada,
France and Israel.
The trend was set by Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) and
Lorna Kiplagat (Netherlands) who pioneered the switch
and made a name for their adopted country.
Ironically, majority of these athletes live, train
and stay in Kenya and only go to Europe or USA when
there are competitions.