Athletics Kenya has up to Sunday to reinstate Leonard Komon in the Kenya team to the World Cross Country Championship in Embu, or risk facing litigation.
Athletics Kenya Mt. Elgon Branch will move to court on Monday to seek his reinstatement saying the mistake that led to his axing was done by AK and not Komon.
“We have evidence from our end concerning the communications between AK and Komon. Moreover, AK secretary general David Okeyo has come out public certifying that a mistake happened,” said Rodgers Kapsiwo, who read the statement on behalf of Mt. Kenya branch officials.
Komon comes from Mt Elgon, and had explained the circumstances behind his participation in the World’s Best 10km race in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 27, which led to him being axed from the team.
The branch also demanded an apology from AK and asked for those involved in applying double standards to step aside to allow compete investigation to happen.
This will not be the first time an athlete has gone to court seeking to be reinstated in the team. Eric Keter sued then Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) after he was dropped from the Sydney Olympics team.
The hurdler was included in the Sydney team on the order fo the courts.
Kapsiwo said that there was malice in the dismissal of Komon, since his manager was not reprimanded as has been the case before.
We want justice
“Komon did not organise the race himself. Neither did he sneak out as was reported. He had permission and there was enough consultations between him, Okeyo and head coach David Leting. Why he was punished we do not know and all we want is justice because his rights have been violated,” said Kapsiwo.
Okeyo said on Thursday he could not reinstate Komon in the team because it would bring problems.
“Yes there was consultation, but I had no written permission to him. We agreed, but AK has decided to remove him. We cannot bring him back what will the other athletes feel in camp,” said Okeyo.
Komon’s plea has received support from athletes, though the official AK athlete representative Noah Ngeny has opted to keep quiet.
Five time world cross country champion Paul Tergat said it was unjust to punish Komon when he had permission to run in Puerto Rico.
“It is important for AK to reinstate Komon back to the team. This is an issue of double standards. Nobody should victimise this boy, he is the most experienced and the pillar of the team,” he said.