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Kipchoge Keino: Government is to blame for Rio Olympics debacle

Thursday August 25 2016

Eritrea's Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, US Galen Rupp and Kenya's Wesley Kipchumba Korir run during the Men's Marathon athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. Korir is still stranded in Rio. PHOTO | ADRIAN DENNIS |

Eritrea's Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, US Galen Rupp and Kenya's Wesley Kipchumba Korir run during the Men's Marathon athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. Korir is still stranded in Rio. PHOTO | ADRIAN DENNIS |  AFP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Embattled National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino has said they will challenge Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario’s decision to disband the body.

In a quick rejoinder after Wario’s announcement that he had transferred NOC-K’s duties to Sports Kenya on Thursday, Keino blamed the government for the mismanagement of Team Kenya at the Rio Olympics.

He also revealed his intention to challenge Wario’s move through the available conflict resolution mechanisms.

“I don’t agree with that decision so of course I will contest it at the Sports Tribunal. Wario knows too well who is responsible for all this mess because his office was in charge of payments for all the air tickets,” Keino, who has been at the helm of NOC-K for the last 17 years, said.

Keino, 76, added that his team would challenge Wario’s version of events when they meet the probe team established to investigate their conduct.

The athletics legend also denied that NOC-K officials were living large in Rio at the expense of the athletes, coaches and other officials.

Keino’s rebuttal came barely hours after a number of stranded Kenyan athletes and officials were forced to lodge in pathetic conditions in Brazil on Wednesday.

The remaining athletes are 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera, race walkers, boxers, Stanley Biwott and female sprinters.

Led by Team Kenya captain Wesley Korir, they claimed that they had been mistreated immediately after the organisers closed the Olympic Village on Wednesday.

Korir, who is also the Member of Parliament for Cherangany’, also claimed the group was stranded in Rio due to NOC-K’s incompetence.

“NOC-K booked our flights late,” Korir said. “The best country in the world will spend the night in this “slum” like area in Rio after the Olympics village was closed!! Unbelievable mistreatment of athletes.”

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