Nandi lawmaker Cherargei wants answers into why Kenya was beaten in their traditional 3,000m race in Rio

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 00:00 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) fetes medallists at State House Mombasa upon their return from the Games. Photo/PSCU

The Kenyan senate is pushing for an independent investigation into the manner in which Team Kenya was handled before, during and after the Tokyo Olympics.

Team selection criteria, mismanagement of the team, including lack of motivation are some of the matters the Senate wants delved into, five years after the infamous Rio scandal that saw former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and other officials charged last month.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei filed a petition alleging athletes and team members were mistreated, leading to the dismal performance in Tokyo where Kenya failed to match the performance of 2016 Rio Olympics by managing only 10 medals: Four gold, four silver and two bronze.

Team Kenya, for the first time in history, lost the 3,000m steeplechase title, which Cherargei argues the country should not take lightly.

He wants the Ministry of Sports to state any reforms that were implemented after the Rio Olympics that landed Wario in trouble.

Wario was found guilty of abuse of office in a Sh 42 million scandal of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. He, however, escaped jail after paying a Sh3.6m fine.

His co-accused Stephen Soi, who was the Head of Mission to Rio was fined Sh114m or serve 15 years in jail.

The Senate Labour and Social Welfare plans to summon Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and other officials to respond to the claims.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei.

“We want to be told whether there were prior arrangements for the athletes’ return from Tokyo.

That the athletes had no government officials to receive them speaks volumes,” said Cherargei.

People Sport also understands that investigations have been commenced to verify reports of alleged overpricing of hotel rates by certain Team Kenya officials and media, where the ministry is said to have settled accommodation bills thrice the actual price.

For instance the Ginza Grand Hotel in Tokyo rates on their website were going for around Sh 8,000 per night but the invoices at the ministry indicated Sh 30,000 per night.

“We will sit down with the parties involved and conduct a preliminary investigation, “ a source from the ministry told People Sport.

Another arising matter that the senator wants made public is the full details of contracts signed between the Ministry of Sports, Athletics Kenya and American sports apparel maker, NIKE. 

The lawmaker also wants contract between Athletics Kenya and the Olympic Committee of Kenya be made public.

That a number of editors were sponsored by the Ministry of Sports for near two months is another area the senator wants expounded on.

“Explain the terms of engagement between the public and private media and the Ministry of Sports involved in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

What were the The allowances and expenses of the editors in Tokyo 2020,” he charged.

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