Kenyan officials 'embezzled money meant for Rio team': government report

Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:52am EST
 
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By Isaack Omulo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Large sums of money meant to cover the expenses of Kenya's team at the Rio Olympics were misappropriated by officials, according to an investigation ordered by the country's sports ministry.

The report, seen by Reuters, said the money had been earmarked to buy air tickets for team members, but was instead taken by unidentified ministry officials.

The report was compiled by an investigation team led by Paul Ochieng, the dean of students at Nairobi-based Strathmore University.

The report says the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) also diverted money and kit from U.S. sports equipment manufacturer Nike worth millions of shillings.

“Some (sports) ministry officials misappropriated 88,611,480 shillings ($871,190) meant for air tickets. NOCK has been misappropriating Nike contract funds and kit amounting to 126 million shillings per year meant for athletes since 2013,” the report said.

“The eight-year (2013-2020) contract between Nike and NOCK on behalf of all national teams is heavily skewed toward Nike and needs review or cancellation.”

Officials at the Ministry of Sports did not respond to telephone calls or text messages when contacted by Reuters. Nike did not return calls seeking comment. 

Athletes told the investigation committee that bonuses from Nike for medals won at Olympic and Commonwealth Games did not reach them.   Continued...