NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has
slapped financial sanctions on its Kenyan affiliate barely 48
hours after its top officials revolted against proposed reforms.
On Tuesday, 11 of 13 Kenyan National Olympic Committee (Nock)
Executive Committee members voted against the adoption of an
IOC-backed new constitution that seeks among other things to
limit their power.
IOC Head of Media Relations and Monitoring, Emmanuelle
Moreau, confirmed on Thursday evening that the international
body had cracked the whip against the Nock pending an Executive
Board meeting next week where Kenya’s fate will be decided.
Moreau said the IOC is extremely disappointed by the outcome
of the Nock extraordinary General Assembly which did not address
governance issues in the appropriate way.
"This goes against the tripartite agreement (IOC-NOC-Government
authorities) reached in September 2016 in Lausanne and the
roadmap and discussions with the NOC over the last few months,"
he said in a statement.
Moreau said the IOC is now putting on hold all payments of
subsidies to the Nock until a decision of the IOC Executive
Board is taken at its meeting next week.
Withdrawal of IOC funding is bound to cripple the operations
at Nock led by pioneering Olympics Laureate, Dr Kipchoge Keino,
the retired distance running legend who is widely regarded as
the father of Kenya’s athletics.
Keino who is also an honorary IOC Member and long-serving
Nock president led the majority of his Executive to vote against
the proposed constitution at an Extra Ordinary stakeholders
meeting in Nairobi.
Needing a two-thirds majority to be adopted, the draft
regulations supported by most affiliate federations prevailed
with a vote of 19 to 13 that fell short of the threshold that
would have paved way to new Nock elections by the end of this
month as IOC backed roadmap suggested.
The IOC Board is expected to ban Kenya from the international
Olympic family or impose heavy sanctions against individual
officials responsible for scuttling the path to reforms that
started in earnest last December during its meeting on March 15
"The result showed we believe in a fair game.
"It is the wish of Kenyans and the next elections will be
held in June under the old constitution," the Nock boss said
following the meeting.
The IOC had sent Jerome Poive, Head of Relations on
Institutional Governance, Mohamed Azzoug, chief of staff at the
Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa (ANOCA) to
Nairobi as observers to oversee the voting process on Tuesday.
However, they left in a huff following the outcome, as the
threat of an Olympic ban for Kenya loomed large.
Retired former world marathon record holders and Olympics
silver medalists, Paul Tergat, and Catherine Ndereba broke ranks
with the other members of the Nock Executive in voting for the
On the other side of the divide that pitted the
administrators against affiliate federations keen to push them
out of power, representatives of the Kenya Swimming and Kenya
taekwondo federations voted to shoot down the document alongside
Keino and Co against the wishes of their colleagues.
Trouble for the incumbent Nock officials started three days
after the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics on August 27, 2016 when
the country’s minister for sports, culture and the arts, Dr.
Hassan Wario, disbanded Nock and ordered a probe to the chaos
that rocked the Kenyan team in Brazil.
It led to the arrest and subsequent charging of four senior
Nock officials, Francis Kinyili Paul (Secretary General), Pius
Ochieng (First Vice-chairman), Ben Ekumbo (Second vice-chairman)
and Stephen arap Soi (Executive Officer/ Chef-de-Mission).
They were charged with various counts of theft by servant,
amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, theft of Nike kit
meant for Team Kenya athletes, and abuse of office with all out
on bail pending hearing and determination of their cases that
were consolidated by Kenyan prosecutors.
Following the disbandment, Keino travelled to the IOC
headquarters with representatives from government and affiliate
federations who had appointed interim officials to run the body
where a negotiated roadmap to reform was agreed.
However, the provision barring sitting Nock officials from
voting at the elections could have sounded the death knell for
all incumbent officials.
It was difficult to dislodge sitting Nock officials since
they had a head start of 13 votes at any election, requiring
only three more to attain a simple majority of 16 that was
needed to secure a seat.
Kenyans risks IOC ban after failing to amend old