Kenya: New National Olympic Chief promises new area in Kenyan sport

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Ending wrangles, a complete eradication of doping in sports and sound management of national federations are some of the objectives unveiled by newly-elected National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) President, Paul Tergat.

Tergat, a former five World Cross Country champion and two-time Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, said his administration is determined to take Olympic sports in Kenya to new heights.

The Air Force Major was elected unopposed at a highly-charged, but well-managed NOCK election in Nairobi on Friday night.

Tergat went in unopposed after incumbent and renowned sportsman, Kipchoge Keino, opted not to seek re-election .

Like Tergat, Keino was a medal-winning athlete who specialised in middle distance in his younger days.

''I will nurture young talents, enhance teamwork and motivate young sportsmen and women," said Tergat' in his acceptance speech.

''My goal is to see Kenya join the group of nations where sports is a full-time job," said the former World Marathon record holder (2:04.55) and Berlin Marathon champion.

On doping, he said his administration will protect clean athletes, adding ''I know that 99 percent of our athletes are clean."

Tergat, also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, also emphasised the need for the establishment of a national sports lottery, whose proceeds will help fund kitting of sportsmen and preparations for international events.

The elections, supervised by IOC member, Dr. Sam Ramsamy of South Africa, saw almost the entire outgoing office swept out, the only exception being Secretary General Francis Paul, who retained his seat.

The backlash was occasioned by what Kenyans call the 'Rio Fiasco', which culminated in the arrest and prosecution of NOCK officials, who were accused of theft and mismanagement during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Four NOCK officials - Vice-chairmen Ben Ekumbo, Pius Ochieng, secretary-general Francis Paul, Treasurer Fridah Shiroya and Chief de Mission to Rio Olympics Stephen Soi, were arraigned in court in Nairobi, charged with theft and mismanagement in Rio.

Apart from stealing money, they were also accused of stealing uniforms. The case against Shiroya was dropped and she promptly turned a State witness.

Ochieng and Shiroya opted out of the race and they did not defend their seats.

The three cases are still pending in court, they are out on bond.

Also swept out during the polls was committee member Catherine Ndereba - four-time Boston Marathon winner and two-time World Championships winner and twice Olympic marathon silver medallist.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 30Sept2017

30 september 2017 16:46:11

xhtml CSS