Athletics: Kenya arrests three officials over Rio mismanagement

Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:23am EDT
 
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By Isaack Omulo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has arrested three top members of its Olympic committee, a Reuters witness said, after mismanagement of the contingent nearly derailed the country's participation in the Rio Games.

The east African nation notched up its biggest ever haul of medals in Brazil but doping and organizational challenges had plagued its preparations in the run-up to the event.

On Friday, chef de mission Stephen arap Soi and assistant secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) James Chacha were taken to a police station in Nairobi upon arrival from the Olympics, alongside the body's Secretary General F. K. Paul, according to the witness.

Another official, Chief Executive of Athletics Kenya Susan Kamau, told Reuters she too was questioned by police but shortly released.

With six golds, as many silvers and one bronze medal, Kenya finished second only to the United States in the athletics table, making South America's first Olympic Games its best outing so far.

But its athletics pedigree has been tainted with up to 40 runners failing dope tests in the past four years. Its struggle to convince authorities it was taking the issue seriously threatened its participation in Rio.

In April, Kenya's president signed into law a bill criminalizing doping, as demanded by the World Anti-Doping Agency, to avoid a Rio ban and the government has promised a tighter rein in the future.

At the Games, Kenya's Olympic committee sent home a sprinting coach after he was accused of posing as an athlete to doping testers. The coach said he had borrowed an accreditation pass to seek a meal in the athletes' village.   Continued...

 
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Flagbearer Shehzana Anwar (KEN) of Kenya leads her contingent during the opening ceremony.      REUTERS/Richard Heathcote/Pool