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Banned Kenyan athletics official lashes out at “selective justice”

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Banned IAAF council member and former Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president David Okeyo has labelled the decision to expel him from the sport for life as a “conspiracy against Africans.”

The IAAF Ethics Board convicted Okeyo of siphoning off money from the federation as well as receiving bribes to vote for Qatar as the host of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Okayo is going to challenge the judgement at the the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Okeyo, who served as AK vice-president until November 2016 when he was initially suspended, was also slapped with a hefty 150,000-U.S.-dollar fine in a judgement made public on Thursday.

The veteran administrator further claimed that British national, Sebastian Coe, is also not eligible to run the IAAF having been accused of receiving bribes for the 2019 Qatar bid.

“It was all fabrications geared toward removing me from AK and there is nothing very special. In any case, do you think I was in a position to withdraw money without authority? The money they are saying I withdrew was under the authority of the late chairman and the custodian of the accounts that was [Joseph] Kinyua. How come I’m found to be bad and Kinyua is okay, did I steal the checkbooks to go withdraw the money myself?” Okeyo said.

His co-accused in the corruption charges and former federation treasurer, Joseph Kinyua was acquitted while the case against the late AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat, was terminated following his passing in August 2016.

Okeyo then claimed the fight against corruption at the top echelons of the IAAF had taken a discriminatory approach against Africans, accusing Coe who ascended to the helm of the organization on the platform of reform, of being unfit for office.

“If anything, Coe should not even be the president of IAAF going by what happened in Qatar since he was chairman of that committee where they are alleging members were bribed including him,” Okeyo charged.

He also complained about the length of time it has taken to determine the case brought before him by the Ethics Board.

Okeyo cited the case of former IAAF Secretary General, Nick Davies, who was expelled from the world body in January last year but was allowed to seek employment elsewhere within the sport after being found guilty of accepting 30,000 euros in bribes to delay naming Russian drug cheats.

Okeyo who served as the IAAF Cross Country Commission chairman until 2015 questioned the huge fine slapped on him in the 74-page judgement.

“The judgement is not clear; there are a lot of gaps. If you have banned me for life, why are you fining me another 150,000 dollars?”

The case against suspended AK CEO, Isaac Mwangi, who is separately charged with soliciting bribes from athletes who have tested positive for banned substances with a view of either clearing or reducing their bans, is still being heard by the Ethics Board. 



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