Kenya disbands National Olympics Committee over Rio performance

Most of team still in Rio waiting for flights home says team captain

Kenya team captain Wesley Korir in action during the marathon at the Rio Olympic Games. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Kenya team captain Wesley Korir in action during the marathon at the Rio Olympic Games. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

 

Kenya has disbanded its National Olympics Committee (NOC-K) because of the poor handling of the east African country’s team during the Rio Olympics, sports minister Hassan Wario said on Thursday.

Wario has set up a committee to investigate the misconduct and it will report its findings by September 30th. The Directorate of Criminal Investigation has also been asked to begin a probe.

“There was alleged mismanagement of the facilitation of our athletes and the entire team Kenya ranging from accommodation and travel mishaps, mishandling of the accreditation of the list of participants to the provision of kits that never reached the athletes,” Wario told a news conference.

“I do hereby disband the National Olympic Committee with immediate effect and transfer their responsibilities to the Sports Kenya as the interim custodian.”

Before the Games, Kenya team captain Wesley Korir berated local Olympic committee officials, saying they needed better management, payment of pending allowances and an immediate end to alleged harassment of athletes by anti-doping officials.

Francis Paul, NOC-K’s secretary general, said his organisation would consult with the International Olympic Committee over Wario’s decision.

“We are going to inform the International Olympic Committee to investigate the matter. We shall meet and discuss,” he told Reuters.

Despite the problems, Kenya enjoyed its most successful Olympics in Rio, winning six gold medals, six silvers and one bronze, all in track and field.

Korir said on Twitter on Thursday that most Kenyan team members were still in Rio de Janeiro waiting for flights back home and they are staying in a run-down part of the city.

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