IAAF probe team in Kenya

Tuesday January 30 2018

Athletics Kenya president Lt-Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei (second right) gestures as he speaks to AK vice president David Okeyo (left) and AK's second vice president Paul Mutwii (right) and AK Chief Executive officer Isaac Mwangi on November 12, 2015 at Weston Hotel. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Athletics Kenya president Lt-Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei (second right) gestures as he speaks to AK vice president David Okeyo (left) and AK's second vice president Paul Mutwii (right) and AK Chief Executive officer Isaac Mwangi on November 12, 2015 at Weston Hotel. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Ethics committee of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is in Kenya to carry out more investigations and hearings before issuing a final verdict on three suspended former Athletics Kenya officials.

Sources on Tuesday intimated that top Ethics Committee officials, led by the board’s legal secretary Jana Sadler-Forster, have been in the country for the last one month and have interviewed athletes and officials.

"The ethics board officials have conducted the investigations and hearings discreetly in Nairobi and Eldoret starting last year. They have had some undercover investigators in the country,” said a source that was interviewed by the team.

“They are focusing mainly on the alleged doping and financial scandals involving the officials,” explained the source, adding that it has been the desire for IAAF Ethics Board to hold the sessions discreetly to avoid media attention.

SUSPENDED OFICIALS

In November 2015, IAAF Ethics Board suspended three senior AK officials on suspicion of subverting doping process in the country. They are former President Isaiah Kiplagat (now deceased), Vice-president David Okeyo and former treasurer Joseph Kinyua - for six months.

Three months later, the same board suspended AK Chief Executive Officer Isaac Mwangi for six months, also for allegedly subverting anti-doping mechanisms in Kenya.

The Ethics Board then appointed renowned judge Sharad Rao to oversee the investigations and to file a report.

“The officials were in Eldoret last week and they met key AK officials and some of the suspended officials on Monday this week,” said the source. “They have instructed AK officials not to talk about the hearing until the right time.”

The Ethics Board has since been forced to defer lifting the suspensions to allow for completion of investigations.

Rao intimated yesterday in a telephone interview that he completed his investigations and submitted recommendations to the Ethics Board in July last year.

“It’s up to the IAAF to state what they think and perhaps set up several hearings. I am sure there actions are based on the recommendations I made,” said Rao.

But statement by Sadler-Forster to AK and and seen by Nation Sport, the IAAF Ethics Board indicated that it’s currently conducting a visit to Kenya in connection with the investigation under the IAAF Code of Ethics of certain officials of Athletics Kenya.

They are Okeyo, Kinyua and Mwangi, who have been provisionally suspended from their offices and roles in the IAAF and Athletics Kenya pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

“Until the conclusion of that disciplinary process, these matters are sub-judice and the individuals concerned enjoy a presumption of innocence and it is therefore not appropriate that the IAAF Ethics Board comment further at this time,” said the statement. “The current visit to Kenya is a part of a process of bringing these matters to a fair and expeditious conclusion whilst ensuring that all relevant evidence and matters are brought to light and considered by the IAAF Ethics Board.”

Two drugs cheats Joyce Sakari and Francisca Koki, who had been banned for four years, alleged that Mwangi had asked for Sh2.5m from each of them on October 16, 2016 so as to have their bans reduced.

Okeyo and Kinyua are being investigated by the IAAF’s ethics board over allegations of financial impropriety on American sportswear giant Nike’s contract with AK and doping cover up.