Deputy President receives complaints from Nike on misuse of donated gear.
Deputy President William Ruto has ordered an investigation into the bungling management of Kenya’s team in Brazil after embarrassing blunders that have seen some officials being ejected from the Olympic Village.
The latest blemish on Kenya’s athletics management happened on Sunday, when the DP received official complaints from Nike — the official kit sponsors of the Kenyan team for the past two decades — about misuse of donated sports gear.
Despite the American sportswear giant supplying a generous consignment of training, competition and leisure kit, the athletes were only issued with either one pair or none at all, much to the chagrin of the Deputy President.
Mr Ruto on Sunday instructed the ministry in charge of sports to investigate and take stern action against any official involved in malpractices in the Kenyan camp in Rio de Janeiro. He directed Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario to safeguard the interests of the athletes, whom he described as “great ambassadors of the country”.
ISSUE TO BE INVESTIGATED
Mr Ruto spoke after meeting the team in the Olympic Village before holding a session with kit sponsors Nike.
Among the issues to be investigated is the distribution of training and competition kit to the athletes, accreditation and the disbursement of allowances.
The DP told Dr Wario and Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai to settle all pending allowances immediately. He said the athletes’ performance should not be compromised by “a few selfish individuals”.
Mr Ruto also asked for a comprehensive report from the management of the Kenyan team.
At the 2012 London Olympics, there was a similar outcry over the misuse of athletes’ kit. At one point, the athletes stormed the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Noc-K) stores in Stratford, seeking to forcibly take their kit.
In Rio, Kenya’s athletics team manager Michael Rotich was ejected from the Olympic Village and is being investigated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Kenyan government for allegedly violating anti-doping rules.
Sprints coach John Anzrah was also sent home after anti-doping officials found him gaining access to the Olympic Village bearing the accreditation of 800 metres runner Ferguson Rotich.