Nock, AK need total overhaul, senator says
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei yesterday called for a total overhaul of the management of the Athletics Kenya (AK) and National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) as questions on performance of the country’s athletes rise.
Cherargei said the Jackson Tuwei-led (AK) and the Olympics body headed by Paul Tergat, are responsible for “obvious errors and dismal performance on traditional track and field events” in the just concluded Olympics games held in Tokyo, Japan.
The lawmaker’s call comes on the backdrop of delayed elections at both entities.
While Nock were supposed to hold their polls last year, the exercise was shelved to allow proper planning for the Summer Games while AK’s are long overdue since 2016.
Cherargei, whose county is considered one of the bastions of athletics in Kenya, called for a detailed explanation on the type of poor reception that the country’s heroes and heroines were subjected to when they landed in Kenya on Wednesday.
“The poor welcoming of the athletes at the airport compared to our neighbours reflects the general management of the team that this year’s Olympics was one of the poorly organised and performed,” the Senator told a press conference at Parliament Buildings on Thursday.
“There was no pomp and colour for the Kenyan team that returned home on Wednesday compared to our neighbours,” he said even as he pointed an accusing finger at a lack of government support and sponsorship being to blame for the poor performance.
He went on: “We witnessed obvious errors and dismal performance on some track and field events, we lost in one traditional track event 3,000 metres steeplechase a title Kenya has held since 1968.”
“The technical team consisting the ministry of sports, Athletics Kenya and National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) should be collectively be held responsible for the errors that costed the country’s tally of medals,” he added.
Cherargei observed that it was disheartening that Kenya’s 100m sprinter Mark Otieno was banned after an alleged doping test yet the country has a functional Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK), demanding that the agency provides a comprehensive report of the status of all athletes.
Kenya topped Africa and was third globally behind US and Italy in the Tokyo Olympics in the athletics category after securing 10 medals; four gold, for silver and two bronze.
The Tokyo 2020 performance, however, did not match the Rio 2016 results where the country won 13 medals; six gold, six silver and one bronze medal.
He wants AK and NOCK expound the kind of reforms implemented after the Rio scandal and why in this year’s Olympics athletes flew on economy class while management and officials used business class .